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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Delicious Hot Crepe Sandwiches

I like to think of these as a fancy take on the all-time favorite grilled cheese.  First, they're in crepes - which means you can automatically fill any extra crepes with dessert fillings.  Second, you can use a wide variety of cheese or meats in them. And lastly, they are a great way to pack in some flavorful greens like spinach or arugula.  Personally, I love the bite arugula adds to these sandwiches.   I whipped them together for a fun brunch we had with friends the other week and they were a huge hit.  They're great with a hot pepper jelly or a flavorful mustard to dip.
Gluten Free Hot Crepe Sandwich
Gluten Free Hot Crepe Sandwiches!  Delicious hot crepe sandwich with hot pepper jelly and cucumbers on the side.

Delicious Hot Sandwich Crepes
Makes 24 10" crepes


Cook up a batch of homemade gluten-free crepes as follows:  

Preheat 10" crepe pan over medium-high heat.  Blend together with a stick blender:
4 eggs
2 cups milk (lactose-free works great)
2/3 cup cold water
3/4 cups cornstarch
3/4 cups arrowroot starch
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

Add and blend in:

4 Tbsp butter, melted


Butter pan only for 1st crepe.  Pour ~1/4 cup batter into pan, quickly pick up and rotate the pan around so the batter spreads out thinly.


Cook until batter appears dry, then flip crepe.  Cook briefly on the other side.  Each side should be lightly browned.  They cook up quickly, so keep a close eye on things.Put on plate, then repeat.  They can be stacked right on top of one another.  

Prepare fillings: 
cheese, thinly sliced (artisan or flavorful cheeses add great flavor)
ham, turkey or chicken, thinly sliced
baby spinach
fresh arugula

Preheat frying pan over medium heat.  
Place one crepe on pan.  Layer half crepe with:
1. cheese
2. meats
3. spinach and/or arugula
Cooking a Gluten Free Hot Crepe Sandwich
Layer toppings on half the crepe so you can fold in half, then in half again.

Let cook 30 - 60 seconds and then fold empty side of crepe over.   Let cook another 30-45 seconds and (using the spatula to help) fold the crepe in half again.  Cook each side of your crepe sandwich until cheese is thoroughly melted.
Cooking a Gluten Free Hot Crepe SandwichCooking a Gluten Free Hot Crepe Sandwich
Fold in half, cook briefly, then fold in half again.  Cook each side until cheese has melted.
These easy crepe sandwiches are great served with something to dip them in like:
spicy or flavorful mustard
hot pepper jelly
Enjoy!!!

Monday, 20 April 2015

Chocolate Chip Sourdough Waffles

These are so tasty, they don't need anything on them, but the kids still like to put a little maple syrup and sometimes whipped cream on top.  Gluten-free sourdough starter is so easy to get started.  One of our favorite sourdough recipes is making waffles, although we love the sourdough breads, too (I've linked all sorts of recipes on my sourdough starter post)  Sourdough waffles, especially chocolate ship sourdough waffles are some of the lightest and most delicious waffles!   Enjoy!
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Sourdough Waffles
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Sourdough Waffles - Nicely browned and ready to move to the cooling rack.  Yum!

Chocolate Chip Sourdough Waffles
Makes 18 waffles

(My waffle iron makes 6 waffles at a time, and I can fill it 3x)

Mix in a 4 cup tupperware the night before you want your waffles:
1 cup white rice flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum

Add and mix in, just until combined:
1 cup water (filtered, if your water contains chlorine)
1 cup gluten-free sourdough starter

Put the tupperware lid on tightly, and let rest overnight at room temperature. This mixture will grow naturally overnight due to the yeast, so make sure your container is at least a 4 cup container and can be fully closed.
Gluten Free Sourdough Starter
I find the mixture tends to look like this in the morning - nicely filled with air pockets.

In the morning, preheat your waffle iron.
Mix together in a large bowl:
2 eggs
5 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional, but I like the flavor)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Mixture from last night (starter/flour/water)

After mixing, fold in:
1/3 - 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Butter waffle iron lightly each time you use it.  Cook batter in pre-heated waffle iron until nicely browned and crispy.  Remove from waffle iron and place on cooling rack (I do this even when making my non-sourdough starter favorite plain or apple-cinnamon waffles, because it keeps them from ever getting soggy on the bottom, especially if I make extras to freeze).

Delicious served with maple syrup and whipped cream, but easily stand on their own without any toppings at all!  Enjoy!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Almond & Chocolate Five Layer Bars

These are a fun alternative to a typical five layer bar.  This is a nice recipe when you want something sweet with a bit of coconut, chocolate and almond all thrown together.   These are also really easy to whip together, and a perfect recipe for kids to be able to put together, since they'll love putting on all the layers of toppings.  Enjoy!
Gluten Free Five Layer Bars with Almonds
Gluten Free Five Layer Bars with Almonds and Chocolate

Almond & Chocolate Five Layer Bars
Makes a 9" x 13" pan

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix together in a medium-sized bowl:
~2 cups brown rice cereal, half crushed
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar

Press into the bottom of a 9x13 pan. (You can line the pan with parchment paper, if desired, for easier cutting and clean-up).


Sprinkle overtop: 
1/2 - 1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened or sweetened)
1 cup mix of semi-sweet & milk chocolate chips
Toppings happily spread by my daughter.
Pour over-top as evenly as possible:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes, until lightly browned around edges.  Cool and enjoy!
Gluten Free Five Layer Bars with Almonds
Gluten Free Five Layer Bars - Fresh from the oven. Cool on a cooling rack. 

Monday, 6 April 2015

Delicious Oven-Roasted Chicken, Roast Vegetables & Gravy

This really is a wonderfully tasty and easy roasted chicken to whip together.  It turns out looking gorgeous, as well, which is a plus! I based this recipe off the wonderful Ina Garten - her 'perfect roast chicken' recipe, to be precise.  I tweaked a few things around, but the basic prep, cooking time, and resting time are all thanks to her expertise.  You'll end up with a nicely roasted chicken and veggies to serve alongside, plus drippings that can be used to whisk together a quick and flavorful gravy, if desired.  Enjoy!
GF Roast Chicken, Vegetables and Gravy
Gluten-Free Roast Chicken, Veggies and Gravy!  What a beautiful bird! Fresh from the oven.
GF Roast Chicken, Vegetables and Gravy
Surrounded by roasted vegetables, and ready to slice and eat!

Delicious Oven-Roasted Chicken, Veggies & Gravy
Based off Ina Garten's Perfect Roasted Chicken recipe
Makes one 5 - 6 lb chicken - serves 4-6, cooks about 1.5 hrs, rests 20 minutes before serving.

Preheat oven to 425F.

In a medium to large baking dish (I used a ceramic one that was slightly smaller than a 9x13 pan) place the following:
4 small potatoes, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, sliced in 2" pieces
1 onion, sliced

Sprinkle over vegetables, and then mix with hands to evenly coat:
salt & pepper
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground thyme
4 Tbsp olive oil

In a small bowl, have the following mixed together to place inside the chicken:
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp minced garlic
1 orange (or lemon), sliced in half (don't mix this with the herbs/salt/pepper - just have it ready to place in the bird)

Rinse the 5 - 6 lb. chicken and pat the outside dry with a few paper towels.   Rub the inside of the chicken with the salt/pepper/thyme/garlic.  Then place the orange halves inside the chicken.

Set the chicken on top of the prepared vegetables.  Tuck the wings under the body, as best you can.  Use some kitchen twine to tie the ends of the legs together securely.

Brush the top of the chicken with the following:
2-3 Tbsp butter, melted
Then sprinkle the chicken with additional salt and pepper.

Cook chicken in the oven 1 hr 15 minutes - 1 hr 30 minutes.  Test a meaty area (like thigh) to ensure the chicken has reached the appropriate temperature of 185 F.

Once the chicken has cooked, remove the chicken and vegetables to a serving dish.  Cover with an aluminum foil tent and let the chicken rest for 20 minutes.   Slice and serve!

This has two purposes - it lets the chicken meat rest and you have time to use the drippings from the main pan to whip up a quick and tasty gravy, if desired.

Gravy from drippings (optional, but I love it)
This is a general recipe, which you can tweak as desired - use water for a lighter gravy and milk for a thicker gravy, or some of both for somewhere in between.  I usually use water with a little milk when I add the cornstarch.

Pour the drippings from the cooking pan into a small frying pan over medium heat.   Add:
1 cup water (or milk, or some of each)
1 tsp mushroom seasoning or GF chicken boullion
pinch paprika

Once mixture boils, whisk together and then pour into gravy:
1-2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup milk

Let mixture thicken for a minute or two.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.  Serve over chicken and veggies! We enjoyed extra chicken with rice and gravy, too. Enjoy!

Friday, 3 April 2015

Gluten-Free Jewish Apple Cake - a side by side comparison with the original version!

Thanks to my awesome dad, we have a picture of a side by side comparison of our family favorite Jewish Apple Cake recipe!  It's long been one of our most favorite recipes, and converting it to gluten-free was of utmost importance when some of us in the family could no longer eat the wheat-based version.  My gluten-free recipe can be found here.  But in the meantime, you can enjoy taking a look at the side by side comparison of the gluten-free cake to the non-gluten-free cake.

Gluten-free is on the left!  My dad always does such a great job of perfectly spacing the apples on top, so it really looks finished and fancy.  Great work, dad!  And so fun to see!
Gluten Free Jewish Apple Cake vs Regular Comparison
Gluten-Free Jewish Apple Cake on the left, original wheat recipe on the right. Yum!
*An excellent comment was made that this cake may not be appropriate for all during Passover depending on what grains are being avoided - but feel free to make it after!