Friday, March 17, 2017

Gluten Free Irish Soda Bread

Nothing says Happy Saint Patrick's Day (or Happy St. Brigid's Day... or Happy St. Clare's Day... or, well, any day really!) like Irish Soda Bread (or, as it was known in my house, "bread").  Whether you make it as a bread to accompany dinner and go sans fruit or you make it the traditional way with dried fruit galore, there is nothing better than a slice of warm soda bread topped with a melting pat of butter... Yum!



Heat your oven to 375.

In a large bowl, mix together:
4 cups Gluten Free Flour (if you aren't GF, feel free to use regular All Purpose... My favorite GF is the Wegman's blend of AP.  It works like a dream.)
1 cup of sugar
2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of salt
2 cups of dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, dates, currants.... whatever makes you happy!)

Let your flour mixture sit while you heat and melt
1/2 cup (1 full stick) of butter
Let the butter cool but still remain warm.

Put a whole in the flour mixture and pour in
2 cups of buttermilk
2 eggs
the melted butter from above
Use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix until sticky.   (At this point, because I rarely measure and sometimes add too much buttermilk- as if that is possible- I sprinkle in enough flour until the mixture is tacky.  It should be able to be taken out in large spoonfuls and make a pile on the cookie sheet, so not runny, but it can't be too stiff or "bread like" or it will cook up dry.)

This recipe allows me to make 2 rectangular piles and 2 circular piles, but you can make one big loaf or a bunch of small ones.  It's to you.  Pile the batter on a greased cookie sheet (it will spread out so keep that in mind if you are putting more than one loaf on a pan).

Bake at 375 for half an hour, then turn the heat off and let it sit for another 5 minutes before removing.  Cool on wax paper until you can slice and pick up a piece without burning your fingers, then lather on the butter and enjoy!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Gluten Free Southern Biscuits

I've been gluten free since last March due to RA and one of the hardest things to replicate has been my mom's biscuits.  My GF and GF/DF incarnations have been so bad that I'd pretty much decided to just forgo biscuits forever, which, as a southern girl, is sad.  But, this morning, I gave it the old college try and... SUCCESS!!!  These are hands down the BEST southern biscuits this side of the Mason Dixie and the BEST GF ones I've ever had.  Peter said they didn't taste gluten free and I'll be making these often.  My only negative this round was that I need to roll them thicker to account for less rising but the texture was perfect and the taste was a Christmas miracle.

I made a dozen... These are the last two and won't make it til lunch. 


Ingredients: 
2 cups of GF AP flour (I've recently started using the Wegman's brand in lieu of making my own unless needed and it's great) 
2tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda 
1tsp salt 
1.5tsp sugar
4tbsp very cold butter plus an extra 1tbsp
2tbsp solid coconut oil 
7/8c (or 3/4 cup plus 2tbsp) buttermilk 
Extra flour for rolling 

1. Heat oven to 425°.

2. Cut the 4tbsp cold butter and coconut oil into your dry ingredients with your hands until the flour mixture resembles course cornmeal. 

3.  Stir in your buttermilk with a wooden spoon. 

4.  Sprinkle flour on a counter or board and dump your dough, covering it with a thin layer of flour.  Flour your hands and press into a two inch layer.  

5.  Cut your biscuits by pressing down and NOT turning the cutter.  Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet.

6. Melt 1tbsp butter and brush it over the tops.

6.  Bake for 12 minutes.

Makes 6 biscuits.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Chicken and Black Bean Casserole

This is one of those 'toss it in the crockpot' recipes that makes your house smell DIVINE.

In the crockpot, put:
2 frozen chicken leg/thigh quarters
1 15oz can of black beans (undrained)
6-8 small tomatoes, quartered
2 carrots, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium onion, diced

Cook on low for 6 hours.  It will create its own stock.  Add:
1 cup basmati rice
1 packet of Goya Sazon con culantro y achiote (optional... you could just add salt if you want, but I love the Sazon spices)

Cook for an additional 30 minutes or until the rice is done.  (Alternately, you could cook the rice on the side with the broth once you get home if you couldn't just add the rice mid-cycle.)

Mix well and serve with crusty bread and a side salad.

Monday, August 24, 2015

(Dye-Free) Red Velvet Cake

Bobby loves red velvet cake.... but he is allergic to red dye.  Over the last two years, I've experimented and we've ended up with pink cake or a spice-brown cake... But never "red" cake.  Poor Mr. B. begs for "red" cake and each time he asks, I've been stuck saying no. :(

I was discussing this with a friend of mine who is a professional baker and she started researching why this was happening.  She came up with a few sites, one of which mentioned that the cake needed to be acidic in order to keep a red color.  While I didn't care for the original recipe because it was a pound cake base (which my family isn't huge on), I decided to modify my cake recipe but create the "red" as the blogger recommended.

So, I made the cake yesterday and it was huge hit!  Half of it is gone, and it stayed RED!!!!

****

1.  I roasted about a half dozen beets (varying in size from small to medium), well washed, skin on, and diced in 1/2 cup of water at 350 degrees for 90 minutes.  Once they were out of the oven, they cooled for two hours.  The pieces were put in a blender with 1/3 cup of lemon juice and 1 tbsp white vinegar, then pulsed until the texture of stage 1 baby food. 

2.  In a stand mixer, I created a twist of my standard white cake, sans sugar since beets add their own.  (Want to cheat?  You could use a high quality, white boxed cake mix for your dry ingredients, but it will be sweeter since sugar is already a part of the recipe.  Just make sure the leavening is NOT baking soda based.)  2c A.P. flour, 1tbsp baking powder, 1tsp salt,  6oz plain Greek yogurt, 1tbsp vanilla, 3 eggs, and 1/4 cup of plain cocoa powder (NOT processed- so no alkaline chocolate or dutch processed chocolate... sounds nuts, I know, but the cake needs to be acidic.)  You wont add any water or additional liquid.  Add the beet puree, which will add the remainder of your "liquid".  I found that the puree I made was in between 1.5 and 1.75 cups.  (I'm an awful measurer.) 



I greased three 8" rounds and the cakes looked like a reddish-fuscia when they went in the oven, which was way better than anything I'd done before, but I remember thinking wasn't as perfect as I'd hoped.


Oh me of little faith.  I checked on them at 10 minutes and they had definitely deepened in color.  By 18 minutes, when I pulled them out to cool, they were red.  I let them cool on the counter while I made my cream cheese buttercream frosting, with enough to do a three layer cake.  I mixed 2 sticks of softened butter (1 cup) with 8 ounces of cold cream cheese, and alternated 4 cups of powdered sugar with enough whole (raw) milk to make the correct texture.  (I'll guess between 3/4 cup and 1 cup total). 

When the cake was fully cool, I dirty iced it and put it in the fridge to set for half an hour before removing it and completing the icing.  It stayed in the icebox until dinner started, when I pulled it out to come up to room temperature.  Bobby did the honors by cutting into it and red it was!  The cake was decimated in silence at the table, and I've already been asked to work on a "blue" velvet cake for Maya (purple carrots maybe???).





Success!!!

Cake and Frosting

I basically have one cake and one frosting recipe that I can make in my sleep.  Every other cake I make is a deviation off the basic recipe.

Michele’s Basic Butter Cake Recipe
Mix & Set Aside: 2c A.P. flour, 1tbsp baking powder, 1tsp salt
Cream: 1/2c softened butter, 4oz. applesauce (a snack size cup)
Slowly beat in: 2/3c white sugar, 1/2c brown sugar
Add in, one at a time, and mix well: 6oz plain Greek yogurt, 1tbsp vanilla, 2 eggs + 1 egg white, 1/6c
almond milk (or regular milk if you’d prefer)
Add in the flour mixture slowly then beat on medium-high for 2 minutes
Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes (however your oven works) until done.  Makes two 9” rounds.

Chocolate Cake: Melt 7oz dark chocolate with 2 tbsp (of the 8 you will use for the recipe) butter.  Add to the creamed butter (before the sugar) and then follow the above recipe.

Spice Cake: Add 1tsp each of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves to flour mixture.  Follow the above recipe.

Carrot Cake: Add 1tsp each of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves to flour mixture.  Follow the above recipe.  At the end, mix on medium-high for only 1 minute, then add in 2.5c of shredded carrots and a handful (to taste) of dried currants.  Beat for another minute.  Bake as directed.

White Cake:  Follow the basic recipe, but instead of 2 whole eggs plus an egg white, use 3 egg whites.  Instead of brown sugar, use only white sugar (1¼ cup).

Coconut Cake:  Follow the basic recipe, but instead of 2 whole eggs plus an egg white, use 3 egg whites.  Instead of brown sugar, use only white sugar (1 cup).  Omit the Greek yogurt and almond milk; instead, use 1 cup of coconut milk.   At the end, mix on medium-high for only 1 minute, then add in 1 cup shredded coconut.   Beat for another minute.  Bake as directed.


Michele’s Basic Buttercream Frosting (enough to frost two 9” rounds)
Beat 1c of softened butter until creamy.  Add 1tsp vanilla and 1/6c almond milk (or regular milk).  Slowly cream with 3c powdered sugar.

Cream Cheese Buttercream: Cut the butter to 1/2c.  Cream it with 6-8oz COLD cream cheese (one
package).  Add 1tsp vanilla and 1/6c almond milk.  Slowly cream with 3c powdered sugar.

Chocolate: Melt 3.5oz chocolate with 1tbsp butter.  Cream 7tbsp butter with tsp vanilla.  Add the melted chocolate, then cream with 3c powdered sugar.

Coconut: Beat 1c of softened butter until creamy.  Add 1tsp vanilla and 1/3c coconut milk).  Slowly
cream with 3c powdered sugar.  Add 1c shredded coconut.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Peanut Butter Cantaloupe Muffins

This recipe was created by Bobby and I as a homeschool science class.  What better way to learn science and math than by creating and cooking different recipes!!

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

 First, make a cantaloupe puree by filling the blender about 2/3 way full with cantaloupe pieces.  We added a dash of water and then hit puree until it was liquid.  It will make approximately 2 cups of cantaloupe puree.

Mix the following together:
3 eggs
2/3 cup full fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup coconut oil (at room temp/solid)
1 tbsp. vanilla

When that is blended well, add:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar

Finally, add
2/3 cup (freshly made) crunchy peanut butter.  (We use fresh PB from our local Farmer's Market.)

In a different bowl, mix together:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon

Alternate adding the flour with the cantaloupe to the sugar mixture, starting and ending with flour.  Then, set up your muffin tins with liners and pop those bad boys in the oven!

Bobby getting the muffin tins ready

This recipe made 36 muffins.  We topped half of them with a cinnamon sugar mixture and half with a pinch of Michele's Pumpkin Spice Granola for a taste of early fall! 

The muffins baked in a 325 degree oven for 25 minutes.  I'm happy to report they are moist and delicious!  A hint of peanut butter and that crisp sweetness of cantaloupe.  A definite success!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls


Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls:

In a large mixing bowl, mix together on medium: 50g coconut butter/oil (about 2 tbsp), 500g (about 1 lb) chucky peanut butter, 1tbsp vanilla. Add in 2 cups powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Roll into balls and put in the freezer for 20 minutes. 

Chocolate Sauce: In a saucepan over low heat, melt 8oz of dark chocolate with 1oz coconut butter. Remove from heat.


When the balls have chilled, dip them in the chocolate sauce, then return to the freezer for 10 minutes.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.


http://www.onceamonthmeals.com/wp-content/uploads/Peanut-Butter-Balls-800x529.jpg