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Thursday, 21 September 2017

Party sized mint brownies

My son (yes, my 11 year old) and I prepared these for my sister-in-law's wedding on Cape Cod this summer, and they were a perfect addition to our collection of gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free desserts.  Once chilled, they can be neatly cut into whatever shape you desire.  For the wedding, we cut them into triangles that were arranged in a single layer on a couple platters.  They were able to be arranged and then stored in the refrigerator until it was time to serve.  These are similar to my previously posted mint brownie recipe, but a bit thinner and nice for an occasion where you want more, smaller servings to go around.  They were a hit with kids and adults at church, and also with my family, who was disappointed I'd share them at all. Those who have tried my original recipe and this version prefer these because they have a higher ratio of mint & chocolate to brownie. Yum! Enjoy!

GF mint chocolate brownies
Gluten-Free mint chocolate brownies, ready to serve!
GF mint chocolate brownies
I love cutting them into little triangles - both aesthetically pleasing and a nice small size for a brownie when feeding a crowd.

Mint Brownies - for a party!
You can cut them larger or smaller, so you can end up with between 50 - 120 pieces easily. 

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a large, flat (not warped), cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a microwave-safe glass bowl, melt:
1 cup butter

Mix in until smooth:
1/2 cup high quality cocoa powder

Add and mix in:
4 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar

Then add and mix in, just until combined:
3/4 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/2 tsp baking powder

Spread onto parchment-lined pan.  Bake for 20-22 minutes at 350 F.

Remove and place pan on a cooling rack.
Brownies just after removing them from the oven.

Mix together mint topping in a bowl:
2 cups powdered sugar
4 Tbsp melted butter
2-3 Tbsp milk
4 drops peppermint essential oil (I like the DoTerra Peppermint Oil for cooking)

Spread the mint topping evenly over the warm (but not piping hot) brownies.   I like to use a spoon to place dollops and then spread gently with the back of the spoon.
Mint layer - don't worry if some parts end up a little messy, just be gentle when spreading the mint layer.

In the microwave at 50% power in 30 second intervals, melt together:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate
4 Tbsp butter

Spread chocolate evenly over the top of the mint layer.
Smooth the chocolate evenly over the brownies.  

Let brownies cool, then chill in the refrigerator until topping hardens.  You'll find they'll look nice and smooth once they've cooled.  You can slice these however you like - triangles, squares, rectangles, large, small.  You can even freeze them once you've cooled and sliced them.  Freeze in a ziploc bag on parchment paper in a single-layer.  Enjoy!!!
GF mint chocolate brownies
Mint-Chocolate Brownies! Yum!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Easy GF Tempura Vegetable Medley

One of my favorite things to have accompany a meal is very lightly battered deep-fried vegetables.   We don't have tempura vegetables often, but when I find vegetables like thin asparagus, fresh broccoli, tasty mushrooms, or fresh onions it's hard to resist.  Enjoy!
Fresh GF tempura vegetables, piping hot and ready to eat!

Easy GF Tempura Vegetable Medley
Based off the Artisanal GF Cookbook Recipe

Preheat oil in deep fryer to ~360 F.  My favorite frying oil is avocado oil, but you can use canola oil, or another frying oil of your choice.

Prepare vegetables as follows, using any/all types as you prefer:
1 - 2 onions, sliced in rounds (You can use ALL onions to make onion rings!)
2-3 handfuls thin asparagus, rinsed and with bottom portions broken off (remove the bottom of the asparagus where it naturally breaks off.  I find this leaves you with the tender tops)
1 pint mushrooms, rinsed with stems removed
2 bunches of broccoli, rinsed with heads sliced off (I don't use the stalks) 
You can use other types of vegetables, as desired -  carrots (slice into thin sticks), green beans (rinsed), sweet potato (sliced into thin sticks), but the ones in bold are my favorites.

In a large bowl, whisk together:
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch (or cornstarch)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 cup cold water (often I add a little extra water to thin the batter if it's feeling too thick, but you can use less water if you want a thicker batter on your vegetables)
I aim for a runny yogurt/thick milk type of consistency.  I like a very light layer of batter on my vegetables.
Toss your vegetables in with the batter.  I recommend adding about half the vegetables, mixing them around and making sure you still have plenty of batter remaining before adding more vegetables.
Vegetables (onions, asparagus, broccoli) tossed in batter.

Fry vegetables in batches in your hot oil for ~3 minutes, stirring once to break up the vegetables a bit.  Remove and place on a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain/cool a bit.  Serve alongside the main dish of your choice (fish, salmon, shrimp, chicken, or a stir-fry).  Enjoy!
Fresh asparagus on the left, a mixture of asparagus and onion rings on the right.
Yum!


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Dessert Waffles

The thing I love about homemade waffles is that they have very little sugar, making them a nice breakfast dish (even though we often add maple syrup or jam to them).  However, sometimes they're fun in the evening for a special dessert treat, as we had them here.
Drooling just thinking about these - fresh waffles topped with coconut-vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce. 

Dessert Waffles
If you want crispier waffles, cooking in a waffle iron that's not Belgian-style is ideal. I like to butter my waffle iron and cook waffles a little longer to get them a bit crispier - which is how I prefer them when we put lots of toppings on them. 

Make a batch of Kristin's Delicious Waffles (leave out the apples).   Cook waffles until steam no longer is visible from your machine, and waffles are a nice golden brown.  Immediately transfer to wire racks after cooking. (This helps retain the crispness so they don't get soggy).

Top your waffles as desired with the following options as guidelines:
Ice cream (lactose/dairy-free are great)
- chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, caramel-swirled, etc.
Chocolate syrup
Homemade Fudge Sauce
Strawberries
Sliced bananas
Maple syrup
Whipped cream
Fruit jams or curds (lemon, key lime curd)
Mini chocolate chips

Friday, 25 August 2017

Mini Cinnamon Rolls

We love cinnamon rolls around here, but a new favorite has been making mini versions of my favorite cinnamon roll recipe.   They're a nice size when you want a small treat - perfect for desserts at a wedding, breakfast, brunch, snack-time, etc.  I love to make them, drizzle on a little cream cheese frosting and freeze them for snacks or breakfast treats.  They were a hit recently when I made them for a wedding.  Enjoy!
These mini cinnamon rolls were whipped together for my sister-in-law's gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free wedding reception on Cape Cod.  They were delicious! 
Some tasty mini cinnamon rolls, rolled loosely, for a bit of a messier look, but still equal in taste

Mini Cinnamon Rolls
This recipe makes ~40-50 mini cinnamon rolls, depending on how you roll/slice them.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two pans with parchment paper or silicon liners.

In a 2 cup measuring cup, heat until just scalding (90 seconds in the microwave should do it):
¾ cup milk

Immediately add to hot milk:
½ cup butter, chopped into smaller pieces
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp salt

In a small measuring cup or bowl combine:
1/3 cup warm water (110-115F)
4 tsp rapid rise yeast or active dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
Let yeast rest 5 minutes to foam and allow milk mixture to cool a bit.  

Meanwhile, mix in a large bowl:
4 ½ cups Kristin’s Gluten-Free Flour Mix * (see below for measurement amounts for just this recipe)
2 tsp xanthan gum (this is in addition to the xanthan gum in the flour mix)

Add to the flour mixture:
3 eggs, room temperature
Milk mixture (with sugar/salt/butter)
Yeast mixture

Mix well with a spoon, using the back of the spoon to help make the mixture nice and smooth.  Let this sit just a moment while you prepare the filling.

Melt in a small bowl:

1/2 cup butter

Mix together in a separate bowl:
1 1/2 cup brown sugar (light brown or dark brown work well)
4 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Line two large sheets of plastic wrap side by side on the counter, overlapping a bit.   2-3 foot long pieces work well.  


Spoon out half the dough along the middle of the plastic wrap.  (You can either roll them out in two batches, or if you have a long counter, you can just do it all at once). 
Pull out another two large sheets of slightly overlapping plastic wrap to cover the dough.  You’ll roll the dough between the plastic wrap until you have – more or less – a two foot long piece of dough that is flattened to somewhere between 10-15 inches wide.  Try to make it nice and even.  You have to slightly adjust the plastic wrap as you’re doing this, since it sometimes gets caught underneath the dough.  But, you’ll find the dough doesn’t stick to the cling wrap, which is fantastic!  Carefully remove the top layer of plastic wrap.

Pour and spread 1/4 cup melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle with ~3/4 cup of the cinnamon/sugar mixture. 
You can see how easily the plastic wrap comes off the dough!  Spread butter, then cinnamon mixture.


Carefully roll up the dough, so you have one two-foot long roll of dough.  (I like to use the plastic wrap to help with the rolling.)  Once you have your long roll of dough, pat the ends slightly to flatten the messy ends.   Use a serrated knife to cut dough into ~24 pieces. (i.e. cut in half, cut each half in half, continue)

You can use the plastic wrap to help you roll it up. I roll it most of the way using the wrap on the far side, then use the side of the wrap closest to me to roll up the last part.  Slice evenly.  

Place pieces carefully on one of the parchment lined cookie sheets and set to rise while you make the cinnamon rolls out of the other half of the dough.   (If I have enough counter space, I just roll the whole thing out at once - a little crazy, but it works). 

Cinnamon rolls before and after rising uncovered on a parchment-lined pan.


Let rolls rise uncovered for ~25-40 minutes in a warm location.  The rolls will puff a bit, but won't double in size.  

Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned on tops.   You can make the cream cheese frosting (recipe below) while it’s baking.
Remove from oven and put on a wire rack to cool. 

You can either:
1. Add the frosting right away and it oozes into the cinnamon rolls
2. Let cool, then add frosting.  

These freeze really well and heat up quickly in the microwave!  We pop them into tupperwares once cooled and pull out and reheat on a plate for snacks/breakfast/treats.  

For a special occasion (party, wedding, brunch), freeze unfrosted rolls in a single layer in a large ziploc.  Remove from freezer and let them thaw IN the bag (this keeps condensation away from the thawing rolls).  Remove and warm on a pan in the oven for 5-10 minutes, if desired, or just frost and serve! Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a bowl, warm in the microwave 20 seconds, or let sit to come to room temperature:
3 oz cream cheese
2 Tbsp butter

Add, and mix with a spoon until smooth (ish):
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

Carefully add, ½ cup at a time:
2 cups powdered sugar
Milk, to desired consistency (add 1-2 tsp at a time)

Some people like a runny glaze, so they’ll find they end up adding more milk, others like a thick topping for cinnamon rolls, so you’ll just leave out the milk or add very little.  You can drizzle a bit on top of the cinnamon rolls while warm, or wait until they've cooled and drizzle for a neater looking frosting. 

If you don’t want to make up the flour mix since you’d have to make it twice for this recipe, just use the following: 
2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup sorghum flour
¾ cup + 1 Tbsp cornstarch OR similar amount of arrowroot starch
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp potato starch
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp tapioca starch
1 ½ tsp xanthan gum (ideally measure 1 1/3 tsp)

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Spinach Artichoke Dip - easy & chilled!

A new family favorite!!! I based this tasty spinach artichoke dip off a yummy rendition I had while visiting Lunenberg, Nova Scotia.  The restaurant there served a light, fluffy, and chilled spinach artichoke dip that we loved (although it tasted like they used mascarpone cheese in lieu (or perhaps in addition to) cream cheese, where I used only cream cheese here. If you have mascarpone about, add in a dollop!   I was inspired to recreate something similar because it was just too delicious and perfect on a hot summer (or any time of year) day not to be able to eat regularly.  I had to post this recipe, because my mom has big plans to make it again tomorrow.  Enjoy!
Fresh, homemade spinach artichoke dip.  The left was whipped until light and smooth, the right is a chunkier version (just not blended as long).  Yum!

Spinach Artichoke Dip
Makes enough for two dipping bowls (2-3 cups of dip)

In a large pot with a lid, cook over high heat:
1 package fresh spinach
1/4 - 1/3 cup water

Steam just until spinach has wilted, then remove from heat.  Let spinach cool slightly before blending with other ingredients.

In a blender, whip together:
~3/4 cup artichoke hearts, marinated in oil (removed from oil)
1 cup steamed spinach, drained (from above)
4 oz plain cream cheese (or a mix of mascarpone & cream cheese)
1 cup grated pepper jack cheese (monterey jack w/ hot peppers) 
1/4 - 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream (to desired thickness - you can use milk, but I like the texture from the cream)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground pepper
dash cayenne powder
1/4 - 1/2 tsp paprika
2 cloves roasted garlic (OR 1/2 tsp dried garlic powder OR 1 clove fresh garlic)

You can blend this only slightly to keep it chunkier, or you can let it really whip to create a light, fluffy dip reminiscent of the texture of hummus.   Personally, I prefer letting it really blend until it's smooth, light, and fluffy.

This spinach-artichoke dip is perfect served with corn tortilla chips or fresh homemade GF naan bread (our favorite!).  Enjoy!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Chicken Saag Pizza!

Leftover homemade chicken saag is wonderful on homemade pizza crusts (GF or otherwise), topped with a little mozzarella, goat cheese & fresh sliced shallots.  The saag is rich, so you can use just a light sprinkling of toppings and cheese.  Not only do you get to have chicken saag again (yum!), but you'll turn an ordinary pizza into an extraordinary one!  Enjoy!
Chicken Saag Pizza
GF Chicken Saag Pizza, topped and ready for the oven! 

I've found that for GF pizzas, it's often best to bake toppings on partially or fully baked GF pizza crusts to avoid any sogginess and to end up with a nice browned, crispy crust.

Our current favorite crust has been to use GF homemade naan bread as our crust.  Just make and bake as instructed, removing the naan bread/pizza crusts from the pan and parchment paper to cool once it comes out of the oven.  When you're ready to top the pizza, then return the naan bread to the parchment-lined baking pan and top with the following:

Chicken Saag, warmed a bit and used as the pizza sauce
fresh mozzarella, sliced
shallots, thinly sliced
green scallions, thinly sliced
crumbled feta cheese
thin tomato slices, optional (the ones pictured here were tiny yellow tomatoes)
green bell pepper, optional
red cayenne pepper flakes, optional

Once you're pizzas are topped, bake in the oven at 450 F for ~7 minutes, until toppings are hot and cheese is just beginning to brown.   (Some GF crusts require baking directly on the rack, others, like the GF naan bread, can be baked on a parchment-lined pan - follow the instructions of your crust).
Chicken Saag Pizza
A yummy chicken saag pizza, fresh out of the oven and ready to eat! 

Slice pizza and place immediately on a cooling rack to keep the bottom nice and crispy. Enjoy!  

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Homemade Thin Mint Ice Cream!

Summertime is a the time of year when I most enjoy eating ice cream all by itself.  Generally, I prefer a tiny dollop on top of something like a warm fruit crisp.  One of my favorite flavors of ice cream is a mint chocolate chip and the other in pre-gluten-free days was a mint oreo flavor made by this wonderful ice cream shop in Boston.  This ice cream provides the best of both worlds!  A yummy cookie crumble, bits of chocolate, and mint all infused together in one delicious ice cream.  And, best of all you won't need all the cookies from your batch of GF thin mint cookies for this recipe, so you'll have extras to serve on the side.  Enjoy!
Gluten Free Thin Mint Ice Cream
A delicious fresh batch of homemade GF thin mint ice cream! 
Gluten Free Thin Mint Ice Cream
A rather crazy looking scoop of scrumptious ice cream with a GF thin mint cookie on the side! 

Homemade Thin Mint Ice Cream

Mix in a bowl:
3 cups 10% lactose-free cream (OR regular light cream OR 1 cup cream + 2 cups milk)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
2 drops peppermint essential oil (I love the Doterra peppermint oil in this recipe - and much prefer it to an extract)

Mix ~10-15 minutes in your ice cream maker (according to the directions on your ice cream maker).  While mixing, you can crush your homemade GF thin mint cookies, enough so you have about 1 cup of crushed cookie crumbs.  I like to leave some larger pieces and some smaller pieces.  It's easy to crush the cookies by placing in a freezer ziploc and rolling or hit with a rolling pin.

After the 10-15 minutes of churning, add to ice cream maker:
1 cup crushed homemade gluten-free thin mints.

Continue mixing until ice cream has thickened, as directed by your ice cream maker.  Scoop ice cream into a freezer-safe container and let chill ~2 hours before serving.  Feel free to serve alongside a few extra cookies! Enjoy!!!!


Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Best Homemade Seafood Chowder!

The wonderful thing about making seafood chowder at home is that you can use whatever fresh, local (or not-so-local) seafood that is in season.  The recipe here is for a delicious vegetable-packed chowder filled with lobster, scallops and haddock.  You can easily add shrimp, salmon, or other types of fish in addition to or as a substitute for these.  You can even add in mussels, too.  The pictures here are of a chowder I made while visiting Nova Scotia. It was filled with fresh, local scallops, lobsters, and haddock fillets.
Best Gluten Free Seafood Chowder
Wonderfully delicious homemade seafood chowder, packed with lobster, haddock and scallops.  This version is packed with vegetables, too, and packed with flavor. 


The Best Homemade Seafood Chowder
Serves 6-8

Saute in a large pot over medium heat for 4-5 minutes:
1/3 cup butter
1/2 onion, diced
2-3 carrots, sliced
dash salt and pepper

Add, and saute, stirring regularly for 5-7 minutes:
1.5 lbs potatoes, diced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 - 3/4 cups diced fennel bulb
3-4 cloves garlic, minced OR 1/4 - 1/3 cup garlic scapes, sliced (if in season)

Add and cook an additional 1-2 minutes:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2-3 tsp Old Bay Seasoning (adds spiciness, so use less if you prefer less bite)
3-5 dashes Tabasco sauce
1/4 - 1/2 tsp dried oregano
Vegetables in seafood chowder
I like to saute the vegetables for a longer period in the pan, then they can simmer for less time in order to really bring out the flavors and taste.  

Add, then simmer vegetables for ~7-8 minutes:
~3 cups water (just until top of veggies)
1 tsp GF chicken bouillon seasoning (optional)

Add:
1 cup 10% cream (lactose-free works great)

Mix in a small bowl:
1/4 cup 10% cream
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix

Once you've mixed the flour/cream together, you want to add it a little at a time to the bubbling soup.  Stirring and returning soup to a low boil to adjust thickness after you add each 1-2 Tbsp.  I prefer a less thick chowder, and so would recommend just a bit being added.
Chowder, thickened and ready for seafood
Here's the chowder after being thickened a bit.  I prefer a just barely thickened creamy soup to the thick chowders sometimes served.  In this picture the soup is ready for seafood to be added. 

Once you've achieved the desire chowder thickness and returned your soup to a boil over medium heat, add the following and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally:
8 large scallops, diced (or equivalent amount of small scallops)
3 haddock fillets, diced

Taste test the soup at this point to adjust with salt and pepper, as desired.  The Old Bay Seasoning has quite a bit of salt, so I usually just add a dash of pepper.

Just before serving, add:
cooked lobster meat from 2 large lobsters, diced (I remove and use the tail, claws, knuckles)

This flavorful seafood chowder is wonderful served alongside garlic bread.  A few breads we enjoy eating as garlic bread are: a tasty GF white bread, GF naan bread, and homemade GF sourdough bread.
In my opinion, the perfect accompaniment to a fresh seafood chowder and garlic bread dinner is a homemade apple crisp.  If you can find Cortland apples, you'll truly be in heaven.  Enjoy!
A homemade GF apple crisp made with local Cortland apples - yum! 

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Red Potato Salad with fresh herbs

This lovely potato salad is packed with fresh herbs, making it a flavorful addition to any summer meal.  I particularly love it when served alongside something like pan-fried haddock or cod or a nice baked or barbecued salmon.   The salad shown here was served at a book club luncheon and was a perfect accompaniment to rolled up ham and cheese sandwiches and a garden salad.  Enjoy!

Red potato salad with fresh herbs
Freshly prepared red potato salad with fresh herbs, ready to eat!

Red Potato Salad w/ Fresh Herbs

Rinse & dice ~2 lbs baby red potatoes into large bite-size pieces.  Place in a pot of cold water, enough to cover the potatoes by about 1".  Add a dash of salt.

Bring pot to a boil. Boil uncovered for ~10-12 minutes, until potatoes are soft when poked with a fork (just soft enough for the fork to go through, not mushy. You want them to keep their shape).   Drain and run under cold water to cool.

In a large bowl, mix together:
cooked red potatoes, from above
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp fresh dill, minced
5-6 green onions, sliced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1/2 - 1 tsp garlic powder OR 2-3 Tbsp chopped roasted garlic cloves
salt & pepper, to taste (I usually start with 1/4 tsp of each and add more as desired)

You can serve this immediately or chill and serve.   I find it's nice to make it a day in advance so the flavors really blend together.  Enjoy!

Friday, 23 June 2017

BBQ Salmon with roasted garlic, herbs and lemon

A wonderfully light and flaky salmon, made easily on the barbecue! The rich flavours from the garlic, herbs and lemon infuse the salmon spits packed with flavour.  I like to cut the pieces so they're narrow, meaning they cook evenly and quickly.  Try these with a side salad, rice or potatoes. Enjoy!

A gorgeous tray of salmon, fresh off the BBQ.  It is as tasty as it is aesthetically pleasing. 

BBQ Salmon topped with roasted garlic, herbs & lemon

I like to cook my salmon on the BBQ, but off direct heat.  On a small grill, you'd have one half on about medium and cook the salmon on the other half.  On a larger grill, I like to have the outer heat going and have the salmon cooking off the direct-heat in the middle of the BBQ.   To prepare the BBQ, I put all burners on high-heat, then turn off the ones where I want to put the salmon, and lower the others to medium/medium-low.  I like to aim for a temperature of about 400 F.

Line a BBQ-safe pan with foil.  On foil, place:
8 small slices of salmon (each ~1 1/2 - 2" wide)

Drizzle salmon with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper.

In a small bowl, mix together:
10 cloves of roasted garlic, chopped
2-3 Tbsp minced chives
2-3 Tbsp minced dill
3-4 Tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika

Spread the garlic & herb mixture on the top of the salmon slices.   Top salmon with lemon, thinly sliced.
Just gorgeous - ready to pop onto the BBQ.

Bake salmon at ~400 F on the BBQ for 15 minutes for small slices and 20 minutes for larger pieces of salmon.  Check with a fork to make sure the thickest part is cooked thoroughly and nice and flaky.   Enjoy!!!



Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Three Large Delicious Bread Loaves

These large, delicious loaves of gluten-free bread are so easy to whip together!  They're perfect for sandwiches, grilled cheese, garlic bread slices, toast, french toast.  Just a nice, moist, chewy bread that tastes wonderful and is perfect for all.  I've had many amazed it's gluten-free because it tastes so nice.  Enjoy!
Fresh out of the oven - we couldn't wait long enough to sneak a slice (or two). This bread is wonderfully light and chewy.  

Three Large Delicious Bread Loaves

Butter 3 large loaf pans.  Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large mixer, mix the dry ingredients:
2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1 cup potato starch
1 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
4 tsp xanthan gum
4 tsp rapid-rise yeast (quick yeast)
2 tsp salt

Add and beat 3-4 minutes, scraping occasionally, if needed:
2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
5 Tbsp honey (OR 2 Tbsp honey + 3 Tbsp maple syrup)
8 Tbsp oil (I love avocado oil)
6 eggs (chia seeds + water substitute will work well for those egg-intolerant)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Fill each loaf pan 1/2 full with batter.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm location until dough has reached the plastic wrap (~40 minutes).   Remove plastic wrap - don't worry if a little dough sticks to the top of the plastic wrap. It'll look fine once cooked.
Pans filled with dough.  These were covered with plastic wrap and left to rise 40 minutes before baking. 

Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes until nicely golden brown.  Remove from pans and cool on cooling racks.  You can slice and use immediately or slice and freeze.  I always slice my bread before freezing, and it's perfect to take out and use for lunches or meals.  Enjoy!
Large, fresh loaves of delicious bread. 

Friday, 19 May 2017

Key Lime Curd & Lemon Sugar Cookies

Key lime curd served alongside homemade gluten-free lemon sugar cookies or key lime cookies are a perfect summertime dessert when you want something light, but flavorful.  The homemade curd is wonderfully pleasant, filled with key lime zest and juice.  If you need to juice your own, you will need quite a lot of key limes. I think something around 20 or so for that much juice.   The cookies are lovely made into little sandwiches, or served with a dollop of curd on top of each cookie.  Or, you can serve alongside on a small plate, as shown in the picture here.  Enjoy!

Key lime curd served alongside homemade key lime cookies, but equally delicious with the easy, no-fuss lemon sugar cookie recipe below! 

Key Lime Curd & Lemon Sugar Cookies

Whisk together in a pan:
1/2 cup key lime juice
zest of 7-10 key limes
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2/3 - 3/4 cup cold water

Heat over medium heat, stirring regularly.  Once mixture boils, let boil for 1 minute.   Then add and whisk in:
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 Tbsp butter

Allow the curd to boil for 1 minute only. Remove from heat.  Pour curd into a large bowl (or several smaller bowls) and cover with plastic wrap (have the plastic wrap tight to the top, like you do for pudding.   Let cool or serve warm with key lime coolers or the lemon sugar cookies, below.  Enjoy!!!

Lemon Sugar Cookies
Make one batch of Kristin's Favorite Sugar Cookies, adding 6 drops lemon essential oil (high quality - I love the Doterra lemon oil) and 1 tsp lemon zest.    I've retyped the recipe with modifications here for convenience.

Makes ~40 small cookies (it really depends on your cookie cutter or cookie scoop size)

Preheat oven to 375F.  Line baking sheets with silicon lining or parchment paper.

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl: (it's important to do this in GF cooking to avoid clumping)
1 1/2 cups Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour mix
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Beat in a mixer until fluffy:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter

Add and mix in thoroughly:
1/2 egg (beat the egg in a bowl with a fork and dump in approx. half the egg - the recipe is forgiving)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
6 drops lemon essential oil
1 tsp lemon zest

Add dry ingredients and mix until well-combined.   If you want to roll and cut shapes, then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to chill.   Otherwise, you can scoop and then flatten the cookies with a plastic-bag wrapped glass or your hand.

Roll out chilled dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to approx 1/4" thickness.  Cut into whatever shapes you like and place on prepared cookie sheets.  

If desired, you can sprinkle the cookies with decorative sugar crystals before cooking for a fancier look, or dust with powdered sugar after baking. 

Bake cookies ~6-9 minutes (depending on size) until just barely browned on edges of the cookies.  Remove pan from oven.  Let sit a few minutes before placing your cookies on a cooling rack.

Perfect served alongside fresh key lime curd, for a decadent treat.  You can dust your cookies with powdered sugar, if desired.   Enjoy!

Key lime curd, sandwiched between cookies. Yum! 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Homemade Butter Chicken

This easy gluten-free butter chicken recipe is wonderful!  Despite the name, there's very little butter in it, but it's nice and creamy and not too spicy, being a family-friendly Indian dish.  I've made several renditions of butter chicken over the years, but never been satisfied until now.  Make sure you start a day ahead, so you can marinate your chicken overnight, allowing the flavors to have ample time to sink into the meat.  None of the steps in this recipe are tricky, but it doesn't require quite a bit of simmering time, so make sure to read through the recipe ahead of time.   This was a perfect dish for my brother's birthday dinner, served alongside chicken saag, in which we used paneer in place of chicken (wonderful) and fresh, homemade GF naan bread.  Enjoy!

Gluten Free Butter Chicken
A delicious meal of butter chicken and paneer saag (made with diced paneer in place of chicken) over rice 

Homemade Butter Chicken
based off a NYTimes recipe
Serves ~8, about 1 hr 15 minutes cooking time (most of it simmering time)

In a large tupperware, mix together the night before you want to make this dish to marinate chicken thighs: (aka, ~24 in advance)
1 1/2 cup plain yogurt (lactose-free works great)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp garam masala
2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 1/2 Tbsp ground tumeric
3 lbs boneless chicken thighs

In a large pan over medium heat, melt butter, then cook 2-3 minutes:
1/4 cup butter
1-2 Tbsp oil
1 large onion

Add to onions and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, until onions are just starting to brown:
2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp cumin seeds

Add to the pan, and cook about 10 minutes, lowering heat to just below medium heat:
16 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 jalapeno, minced OR 1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp salt

Add to pan and cook 5 minutes:
Chicken, marinated plus marinade sauce

Add to pot and cook, simmering over medium-low heat for 30 minutes:
3/4 cup GF chicken stock (or 3/4 cup water + 1 tsp Asian mushroom seasoning)

After simmering, add and simmer an additional 15 minutes to thicken:
1 - 1 1/2 cups coconut cream (OR thick part of canned coconut milk if you can't find canned coconut cream)

Serve over fresh basmati rice.  If desired, you can sprinkle with fresh cilantro before serving.  Absolutely wonderful served alongside homemade gluten-free naan bread, too!  Enjoy!

GF Butter Chicken
A delicious meal of butter chicken and paneer saag (made with diced paneer in place of chicken) over rice with GF key lime cookies and key lime curd (recipe to be posted soon) on the side! 


Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Dark Chocolate Whoopie Pies!

Whoopie pies are a fun, delicious treat that come in all sizes and with a variety of fillings.  These ones are a dark, rich chocolate puffy cookie filled with marshmallow frosting.  The cookie itself is puffy and moist, a mix between a piece of cake and a cookie.  I recently posted a family favorite oatmeal whoopie pie recipe.  You can easily fill these cookies with an ice cream of your choice for a delicious ice cream sandwich, too!  For a proper chocolate whoopie pie (reminiscent of my days travelling to Bova's bakery in the North End of Boston), you can fill your chocolate whoopie pies with freshly whipped cream sweetened with just a touch of powdered sugar, then store them in the refrigerator for up to a day.  Yum!  Enjoy!
Gluten Free Chocolate Whoopie Pies
Homemade Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Chocolate Whoopie Pies!
Makes 12 whoopie pies

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two pans with silicon liners or parchment paper.

Mix in a bowl, and then set aside: (it's important to mix gluten-free flours first to avoid clumping when baking)
1 cup extra dark cocoa powder
1/2 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

In a mixer, beat until fluffy:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar

Add and mix until well combined, scraping down the bowl a few times:
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 eggs

Scoop 12 cookies onto each parchment paper/silicon lined pan.  They will spread a bit and puff up during baking.   Bake at 375 F for 7-9 minutes.  (less for softer, fluffier - more for harder with a slight crisp edge)
Gluten Free Chocolate Whoopie Pies
You can leave scooped for puffier whoopie pies, or flatten slightly before cooking (with your hand in a plastic bag) for flatter/wider cookies.

Cool cookies on a wire rack.
Gluten Free Chocolate Whoopie Pies
Chocolate Whoopie Pie Cookies, cooling before being filled.

Once cool, fill with delicious marshmallow fluff frosting *(measurements below for the right amount for these cookies) OR whipped heavy cream/whipping cream (1 cup heavy cream + 2-3 Tbsp powdered sugar).   Make sure to refrigerate if you use the whipping cream.   These are great right away, but I find even better if they're left refrigerated overnight to let the flavors mesh a little before serving.  Enjoy!

*Marshmallow Fluff Frosting - just enough for filling 12 whoopie pies!
Beat together until smooth, then use to fill whoopie pies:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla extract or bean paste
~1 cup marshmallow fluff

Friday, 21 April 2017

Homemade Naan Bread - quick and easy!

One of my favorite types of bread in the world is the quick, delicious flatbread served alongside Indian dishes.  I always loved it, but it took me many attempts to discover this rendition of my favorite flatbread.  It works perfectly as a pizza crust, too!  A definite new favorite around here.  We have so far enjoyed it with butter chicken, coconut curry, and chicken saag.  It's a perfect accompaniment to any meal where you want a quick garlic-bread type side, too.  Happy eating! Enjoy!

Gluten Free Naan Bread
Homemade gluten-free naan bread, ready to enjoy! 

Homemade Naan Bread - quick and easy!!!
Makes 6 ovals of naan

Preheat oven to 475 F (450 F convection).  Line 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a mixer, combine the following:
3 cups Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
2 tsp xanthan gum
3 tsp rapid-rise yeast
1/2 - 1 tsp dried cilantro (or 1/2 - 1 tsp dried ground coriander)
1 tsp salt
dash garlic powder

Add, and beat 2-3 minutes, until nice and smooth:
2 1/4 cups milk (lactose-free works well, room temperature is ideal)
2 eggs

While the bread is mixing, in a small bowl melt:
1/2 cup salted butter

Spread two ovals of naan bread batter on each of the three parchment paper using a spatula, making 6 large oval naan breads.   Brush the tops of each with melted butter (~1.5 Tbsp butter per naan works great).   You can let the breads rest for 15-20 minutes, if you want slightly puffier bread, but it's not necessary.

Bake the naan at 475 F for ~12-15 minutes until nicely browned and bubbly.  (Lightly browned naan will result in the bread sinking and not retaining it's nice bubbles after removal from the oven, so make sure it's nice and dark golden brown).

Remove from oven, tear or slice to serve alongside your favorite Indian dishes, perhaps an easy chicken-vegetable curry. Enjoy!
Gluten Free Naan Bread
Delicious homemade GF naan bread, fresh from the oven and ready to serve alongside a vegetable filled coconut curry. Yum! 

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Homemade Gluten Free Crab Cakes!

I grew up in Maryland, land of delicious crab and crab cakes.  My favorite crab cakes of all time are ones made with Old Bay Seasoning.  It already has salt in it, so make sure not to add extra to any recipe that you use it in, but Old Bay Seasoning is perfect in crab cakes.  This recipe I based off a Paula Deen crab cake recipe, but modified to have the right blend of spices and vegetables that I wanted in a crab cake.  These were a huge hit!  The best crab to use for crab cakes is the claws, and often it's sold in a refrigerated section in a 1 lb. can.  I included recommendations for side dishes to accompany your crab cakes below. Enjoy!
Homemade Gluten Free Crab Cakes
Delicious Homemade Gluten Free Crab Cakes, packed with flavor! 

Homemade Gluten Free Crab Cakes!
Makes ~10 crab cakes, serving ~4-8

In a large bowl, mix together:
1 lb. fresh crab meat (1 lb canned fresh crabmeat claws are best)
1/2 cup crushed gluten-free crackers (Scharr brand or GF matzoh work well, you can also use GF breadcrumbs)
4-5 scallions, thinly sliced OR 1/4 cup sweet onion, finely diced
1/4 cup bell pepper, finely diced
2-3 Tbsp finely sliced chives
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg
1/2 tsp dried ground mustard OR 1 tsp regular mustard
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
2-3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1-2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning 

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Sprinkle/dust (a fine mesh sieve is perfect for this) the parchment paper with Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix.  Shape crab mixture into small patties and place on flour-dusted parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.  Flatten the patties a bit (they should be around 3/4" thick) and sprinkle/dust the tops of the patties with additional GF Flour.  (You can start heating your oil, instructions below, while you prep your crab cakes). 
Homemade Gluten Free Crab Cakes
Crab cake patties placed on parchment paper-lined pan dusted with GF flour. Look at all those lovely vegetables in the patties. Yum!  (Note: This was a double batch, so you'll end up with half this amount using 1 lb. crab meat)
Homemade Gluten Free Crab Cakes
Crab cakes dusted with GF flour, ready to fry!  

Heat avocado oil* in a large frying pan over medium heat.  You want the oil to cover the bottom of your pan in a thin layer.  Fry your crab cakes in batches for ~4 minutes per side, adding extra oil as needed to keep the bottom of the pan covered.  Place on a paper towel-lined plate once cooked.  Serve with tartar sauce or a dipping sauce of your choice.  I've posted a couple of my favorite homemade sauces (tartar sauce & curry sauce), too!  Crab cakes are great with Greek salad, homemade french fries or skinny sweet potato fries, baked potato wedges & sweet potato fries, or corn on the cob.  Enjoy!
Homemade Gluten Free Crab Cakes
Crab cakes being fried. 

*I love using avocado oil for frying - particularly with gluten-free foods. I find it makes a wonderfully crisp edge to foods cooked in it.  If you don't have avocado oil, feel free to use any other oil appropriate for frying.