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Sunday, 15 October 2017

BBQ Spareribs

BBQ ribs are one of those meals that takes a bit of advanced planning, but it is well worth the effort.  You can whip this together in the morning before work and it'll be ready to devour upon your return.  The method of prepping ribs in this recipe (removing the membrane, broiling and slow-cooking) was taught to me by some good friends while we lived in England. As these friends hailed from Oklahoma, land of BBQ, I can confidently say that they knew their BBQ ribs.  You'll find that broiling and slow-cooking as directed here will result in wonderfully tender, tasty, and utterly delicious barbeque ribs.  Enjoy!

BBQ Spareribs
Serves 4-6

Turn your oven on to broil.

Prepare your ribs:
1) You will want 1-2 racks of spareribs (the ones I usually get are called pork back ribs, you can use beef ribs as well).  You will want around 12 bones w/ meat. 
2) There is a thin membrane on the back side of the ribs, along the bone. Use a knife or something to get under the membrane.  Once you get a bit of the membrane separated, you should be able to pull it all off.  (Note about the membrane: It's okay to leave it on, but if you remove it, it lets more of the taste get into the ribs during cooking - here's a good link for removing the membrane).

Place the ribs on a cookie sheet lined lined with foil. 
Rub the ribs with the following:
4 - 6 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Wrap the ribs tightly in foil, double-wrapping, if needed.  Broil for 5-7 minutes on each side.  Unwrap and cut the ribs into piece sizes with 2-3 bones each.  Place them in the crockpot with BBQ from below. 

While ribs are broiling, put the following into your crock pot one of the two BBQ sauce options:
Option 1: 
1 chopped onion
2 - 3 cups honey BBQ sauce (or your favorite BBQ sauce)
2 Tbsp maple syrup


Option 2: 
1/2 onion, diced (optional)
1/2 cup honey
1 cup apple cider vinegar2 cups canned tomato sauce (plus 1-2 tsp salt if you're using low-salt tomatoes) OR 2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp hot sauce (I use a locally made habanero sauce, which adds a nice kick - adjust depending on how spicy you want your sauce).  2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce2 Tbsp GF soy sauce (Bragg's works well)2 Tbsp dark molasses4 tsp dry mustard2/3 cup sucanat sugar OR brown sugarground pepper, to taste (optional)

Once you've put ribs in sauce, mix gently to coat with sauce mixture.  
Cook on low 8 hours OR cook on high 4-5 hours.  They’ll be deliciously tender and ready to eat!  They melt off the bones. 

Monday, 9 October 2017

My New Favorite Versatile Rolls

I'm always experimenting with my bread and rolls, tweaking a bit here, a bit there, until I find something wonderful.  These are something wonderful!  They're light, chewy, have a great texture but no nuts or seeds, and can be piped into whatever shape you desire!  I've made them as dinner rolls, sandwich buns (or bagels) and hotdog buns.  We've served them with butter, jam, ham & cheese, toasted with garlic butter, covered in condiments with sausages and hotdogs.  All have been delicious.   And, they travel well.  I've made them, frozen them sliced, then made sandwiches on the frozen buns that we brought on a car trip.  They worked perfectly!  One of my favorite versatile roll recipes. Enjoy!
Gluten Free Perfect Rolls
Yummy rolls made for Canadian Thanksgiving.  I made them the day before, then heated them on a pan with a bit of foil on top just before serving - they were perfect! 
Gluten Free Perfect Rolls
Rolls piped into bun-shape - great with sausages or hot dogs. 
Gluten Free Perfect Rolls
Nice, airy, with a great texture thanks to the steel-cut oats and onion flakes

My New Favorite Versatile Rolls
Makes ~15-20 (depends on how you pipe them out)

Mix together and let rest 5 minutes:
1 3/4 cup warm/hot water
6 Tbsp honey
3-4 tsp yeast

In a mixer, combine dry ingredients:
2 cups tapioca starch
1 1/2 cup brown rice flour
6 Tbsp potato starch (not potato flour)
3-4 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp dried onion flakes
1/2 cup GF steel cut oats (I like the Bob's Red Mill variety)

Add to dry ingredients and slowly mix, then beat at medium to medium-high speed 3 minutes:
yeast mixture from above
3 eggs (OR 2 egg whites + 2 eggs)
6 Tbsp oil (I love using avocado oil)

Scoop batter into a freezer ziploc.  Cut off a corner of the bag and pipe desired shapes/sizes onto 2 parchment-paper lined cookie sheets.

Spritz the rolls with a little bit of water and let rise ~30-40 minutes in a warm location.
Bake at 350 F for ~20-25 minutes, until they're a nice medium-brown color.

Remove from pans and let cool on wire racks.  These make perfect sandwiches, are great alongside soup, can be used as hot dog buns, taste nice with pulled pork, and taste great with cream cheese, like a bagel.

These are wonderful fresh!  I've also made them the day before, left them in a tupperware on the counter overnight, and they were good as new the next day.  Reheated with a bit of aluminum foil over-top, and you'll have perfect rolls for a dinner party.  They freeze well, too.  I like to slice them before I freeze them, so I can use them for school lunches. I've made sandwiches on the frozen buns that we took on a car trip, and they were perfect because the rolls aren't crumbly, which is ideal in a car!  Enjoy!

Gluten Free Versatile Rolls
Rolls piped into bagel shape, leaving a little hole in the center.  They're great toasted with onions & chives cream cheese.   I use these for lunches with ham & cheese, or just warmed with butter. 
Gluten Free Versatile Rolls
A yummy turkey & veggie sandwich made on one of the delicious rolls! 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Steamed Artichokes dipped in Garlic Butter

Steamed artichokes are a fun vegetable to serve because they're so hands-on.  The flavor is rich and hearty, so I find a little goes a long way.  And, they are so amazingly easy to cook!  I was first introduced to eating artichokes whole (and not marinated in a bottle) from my lovely mother-in-law.  She taught me this method of steaming artichokes.  I love the flavor the lemon adds to the artichokes while they're steaming.  They're such fun to eat!  Enjoy!

Gluten Free Steamed Artichokes
Artichokes served alongside garlic butter with a dish for leaves/petals once 

Steamed Artichoked dipped in Garlic Butter

Choose 3-4 fresh artichokes that sound squeaky when you squeeze them.
Rinse thoroughly, separating the petals as best you can.  Chop off the bottom stem so they can sit flat on the bottom.

In a pot with a lid that is wide and deep enough to fit your artichokes, place:
juice from 1/2 - 1 lemon
1/2 - 1 tsp salt
3/4 "- 1" hot/boiling water

Place artichokes cut-side down in your pot.  Bring water to a boil, then cover and lower heat to steam the artichokes for ~30 minutes.   Remove artichokes from pot and place on a serving plate.

Mix together the following to serve alongside your artichokes:
1/4 - 1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 - 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

To eat: 
The center of the artichoke is where the "heart" is located.  The best (in my opinion) way to eat these are to pull out one petal at a time from the side or top of your artichoke.  The very bottom part of the artichoke petal will have about 1/4" - 1/2" of soft artichoke heart on it.  Dip the petal into your garlic butter and scrap off the little bit of soft delicious flesh with your teeth.  Dispose of the remainder of the petal.  Artichokes are rich and packed with flavor, so I find one artichoke is often more than enough for me to eat alone.  Continue removing petals and eating off the flesh until all the larger, more robust petals have been removed, dipping in butter as you eat.

You'll find there are tiny, softer petals left on top after eating the larger, thicker petals.  Remove and dispose of these petals.  Also dispose of the "fuzzy" or "fibrous" cone that sits atop the flavorful "heart" of the artichoke.  It's easiest to use a spoon to scrap it off.  The heart is the part at the bottom of the artichoke that you've been tasting little bites of each time you eat a petal.   It's delicious and wonderful dipped in the garlic butter.  It's also delicious diced up and eaten atop pizza, a salad, a cracker, or really anything savory that goes well with garlic and butter.  I like the diagram posted on this page in case you're worried about what not to eat.


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.

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
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)