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Sunday, 23 February 2014

Gluten-Free Orange Rolls - Yum!

These orange rolls are wonderfully delicious and a great alternative to cinnamon rolls.   My husband says he actually prefers these orange rolls to the cinnamon rolls, but he'll happily eat either.  I prefer to put the cream cheese frosting on while the rolls are nice and hot, but you can wait until they cool if you want the frosting to be more of a topping rather than seeping throughout the rolls.  We freeze extras and they heat up perfectly for breakfast or treats.  Enjoy! 
Gluten Free Orange Rolls!
Mmmm... ready to taste-test!

Gluten-Free Orange Rolls - Yum!
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9x13 pan.

Place in a cereal bowl:
3 eggs (still in shells)
Pour warm/hot water over eggs.  This will bring them to room temperature.

In a 2 cup measuring cup, heat until just scalding (60-90 seconds in the microwave should do it):
1/2 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 warmed eggs
Milk mixture (with sugar/salt/butter)
Yeast mixture
1/4 cup fresh or good quality orange juice

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.

Mix together orange filling in a medium-sized bowl:
¼ cup butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
2-3 Tbsp fresh or good quality orange juice
zest of 1 large orange

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 large scoops of the dough and place along the middle of the plastic wrap. 

Pull out another two large sheets of slightly overlapping plastic wrap to cover the dough.  You’ll then flatten out the dough between the sheets 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, setting it aside to use to cover the rolls as they rise.
You can see how easily the plastic wrap comes off the dough!

Spread the orange filling evenly over the dough. 

Carefully roll up the dough, so you have one two-foot long roll of dough.   Pulling up the plastic wrap can help you get the dough to roll over if you’re finding it’s sticking to your hands a bit.   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 16 pieces. (i.e. cut in half, cut each half in half, continue until you have 16 slices)
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 the slices in your buttered 9x13 pan.  You can press down the tops slightly, if you would like.
Cover pan with plastic wrap and set in a warm location to rise 25-30 minutes. 
These won't fully double in size, but they should look like they've puffed up a good amount.

Bake at 350F for 25-30 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.  Enjoy!

Cream Cheese Frosting (this is a very generous amount, so halve the recipe if you want a lighter bit of frosting/glaze):
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):
½ tsp vanilla extract
Carefully add, ½ cup at a time:
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Add and mix in OJ, until you reach desired consistency.
1 tsp orange zest
fresh or high quality orange juice, to consistency desired
Some people like a runny glaze, so they’ll find they end up adding more orange juice, others like a thick topping for cinnamon rolls, so just add very little OJ.  

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 2/3 cup 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)

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Gluten-Free Lasagna

One of our favorite family meals is homemade lasagna.  The lasagna filling here is packed with flavor.  You can make your lasagna with or without ground beef, but here I add both ground beef and spinach into the sauce.  My absolute favorite mix of cheese in lasagna uses a mixture of ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.   I find this a perfect complement to the rich meaty and veggie-filled sauce.  Layering the lasagna, as described in the recipe below, means you get an even amount of filling throughout the lasagna in every bite! Yum! Enjoy!
A hot slice of lasagna, ready to be eaten. Mmmm... 

Gluten-Free Lasagna
Makes 9x13 pan

Preheat oven to 375F.

Cook 1 package brown rice lasagna noodles, using 1 minute below the lowest recommended cook-time. Once cooked, rinse under cold water and let sit until ready to assemble lasagna.  You should have ~12 noodles, enough for 4 layers, each with 3 noodles.

Prepare sauce:
Over medium heat, cook until meat is almost all browned:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 lb ground beef

When beef is almost all browned add and cook 1-2 minutes:
2-3 tsp minced garlic

Add and cook until wilted:
3-4 handfuls baby spinach

Pour and let simmer until you're ready to assemble your lasagna:
2 jars spaghetti sauce (I prefer Classico b/c they don't add sugar to their sauce)
Sauce ready to go! Leave on low to simmer while you're preparing the other parts of the lasagna.

Prepare cheese filling:
In a bowl, mix together:
1 container ricotta cheese
1 cup fresh mozzarella, diced OR 1 cup grated mozzarella
1/4 - 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper

To assemble your lasagna, layer in the following order in a 9x13 pan:
Layering like this, you get a bit of cheese, meat, spinach & sauce in between each layer of noodles.  Delicious!
Layer 1: 
Generous layer of sauce
Layer of noodles
1/3 cheese filling, spread along the noodles
Light drizzle of sauce
Layer 2:
Layer of noodles
1/3 cheese filling
Light drizzle of sauce
Layer 3: 
Layer of noodles
1/3 cheese filling
Light drizzle of sauce
Top Layer:
Layer of noodles
Cover fully with sauce
Sprinkle with additional grated Parmesan cheese
On left, generous layer of sauce and layer of noodles.  On each layer add some ricotta filling and a little sauce.
Try to make each layer with even amounts of ricotta filling with a little sauce.  Top with layer of noodles.
Use remaining sauce generously over the top of the noodles.  Sprinkle with Parmesan before cooking.

Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes.  Let sit 10 minutes before cutting and serving.  Wonderful served with a side of salad and GF garlic bread. Yes, leftovers either refrigerated or frozen are wonderful. Enjoy!
Fresh out of the oven. Let rest before cutting and eating! Yum!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Chicken à la King

This is one of those comfort food-type meals that's easy to whip up and great as leftovers.  I like that it's got a little bit of everything in it - grain, meat, veggie, dairy.  I've also found it's one of those surprising meals that has both mushrooms and bell peppers, and yet kids still seem to love it.  Win-win!  Enjoy!

Chicken a la King ready to serve over brown rice. Yum!

Chicken à la King
Serves 4-6

Start cooking, according to directions:
1 1/2 - 2 cups brown basmati rice or brown rice
I recommend you start cooking the rice now because I find brown rice takes ~ 45 - 60 minutes to cook/rest.  Give yourself ~30 minutes for prep/cooking time for the chicken/veggie part of the recipe.

In a large, low saucepan with high sides melt over medium heat:
1/2 cup butter

Add and cook until peppers are just getting soft, but still a bit crisp:
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 - 1 small red bell pepper, diced
Veggies prepped, and cooked until peppers are just tender.

Add and cook until mixture comes to a boil:
1 1/4 cup chicken broth OR 1 1/4 cup water + 1 - 1/2 tsp Asian mushroom seasoning
1 1/4 cup milk (lactose-free works great)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Mixture just before coming to a boil. 

While mixture is heating, stir in a small bowl:
1/4 cup milk
3-4 Tbsp cornstarch

Once mixture is at a boil, add cornstarch/milk mixture in, stirring constantly 1-2 minutes until mixture has thickened.

Add in, and cook until hot:
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken (I like to buy the ready-roasted chickens and find about 1/2 chicken is about the right amount of meat)

Serve hot over brown rice.  We find leftovers are great, too! It reheats nicely.  Enjoy! 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

When I make my gluten free pancakes, I tend to mix together a few different GF flours for a lighter flavor, since I find the taste of my normal flour mix to be a bit too strong for the light flavor I want in a pancake.  However, I have found (via experimentation) that with a bit of vanilla bean paste (or extract), ground cinnamon and mini chocolate chips, the flour mix is perfect in these delicious chocolate chip pancakes!  These were happily consumed by all.  The best thing is you can pop extras in the refrigerator or freezer and they reheat wonderfully! Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Makes ~24 pancakes

Mix in a large bowl:
1 1/2 cups Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 - 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Add and mix in:
2 eggs
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cup milk (lactose-free works great!)
4 Tbsp oil
1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)

Let the batter rest 5-10 minutes while you pre-heat your pan over medium-low heat.

Fold into the batter just before cooking:
1/3 - 1/2 cups mini semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Butter your pan between rounds of pancakes.  Cook until nicely browned on each side.   Serve with maple syrup.

You can cool & refrigerate or freeze leftover pancakes.  They reheat well in a toaster oven or microwave until warmed through.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

(Mint) Milano Cookies - Gluten Free!

My sister emailed me a picture of some homemade (non-GF) milano cookies she made.  (Go Jenny!) I immediately wrote back saying how much I miss mint milano cookies.  Her reply, "I actually made these because I ran out of mint milano cookies."  It seemed the time had come to create a gluten-free recipe for those delicious milano cookies I enjoyed in my pre-gluten-free days.  I converted a recipe she forwarded me from These were a hit!  They're light and delicate, and pair wonderfully with the ganache filling below.  The ganache filling can be made either plain chocolate or mint chocolate (my favorite is the mint). I like to use the DoTerra Peppermint Essential Oil in this recipe, which you can find at, my friend Christine's online store. Save your extra egg yolks and whip them into some yummy homemade vanilla pudding!  Enjoy!

Finished milano cookies, some with plain ganache and some with mint ganache filling. Yum!

(Mint) Milano Cookies - Gluten Free!
Makes 10 lg, 36 small, or ~25 lg

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 2-3 baking sheets with silicon mat(s) or parchment paper.  (I used 3 pans for the amount of batter here).

In a mixer, beat until creamed:
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Mix in:
3 egg whites

Beat in:
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Add and mix in, just until combined:
3/4 cup Kristin's gluten-free flour mix

Place in a medium-sized freezer ziploc (use good quality, or the bag can rip).  Cut a corner 1/4" for small cookies and 1/2" for larger cookies.  Pipe 2" long stripes of dough onto prepared pan.  Leave 1" between smaller cookies and 2" between larger cookies to allow for spreading.
Small cookies - about 36 piped on this tray.  My daughter helped make the milano cookies - and eat them afterwards. 
Larger cookies - 21 piped on this tray

Bake at 350F ~7-8 minutes for smaller cookies and 8-10 minutes for larger cookies, until edges are browned.  Remove from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to cooling racks to completely cool.
Small cookies after baking. Notice the light brown edges.
Larger cookies after baking.
After cooling a bit on the pan, remove to a wire rack.  I found I sometimes needed to peel the parchment or silicon mat away from the cookies, but I didn't have any break.

Once cool, fill with plain or mint ganache filling (below).  Eat right away, or allow to set before eating.  Best fresh or within 2-3 days of making.  Store in a closed container in the refridgerator.  Enjoy!
I just used a small spoon to put a bit of ganache onto the backside of one cookie before topping with another.  You could always put the ganache into a ziploc and pipe it on if you want your filling to look more even when complete.  
Delicious large cookies filled with the mint chocolate ganache. My favorite!

Chocolate or Chocolate-Mint Ganache:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil:
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp cream

Once butter/cream are nicely bubbling, remove from heat and mix in:
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar

If desired, add 1 drop peppermint essential oil* for 1/3 - 1/2 of the ganache recipe.  You can also use peppermint extract ~ 1/4 tsp should work.  Peppermint flavoring is strong, so use sparingly and make sure to taste-test along the way so you don't end up with too much minty flavor.  *I prefer using the DoTerra Peppermint Essential Oil in this recipe. The taste is fabulous. You can buy the DoTerra Peppermint Essential Oil at, my friend Christine's online store.  The great thing I love about the DoTerra Essential oils is that they're a very high quality and taste, and are made to be ingested - they have all sorts of other flavors that can be used in cooking and baking! 

Let the ganache cool a bit before sandwiching cookies.  You can place the cookies in the refrigerator to help the ganache fully set, if desired, but we enjoyed them fresh, too!

Friday, 7 February 2014

Lemon-Blueberry Sourdough Waffles!

We've absolutely been loving eating sourdough waffles.  We like to eat them for breakfast, then freeze any leftovers to eat later in the week.  I typically make them plain or with apples and cinnamon in them, but we had these wonderful organic blueberries and fresh lemons, so I thought I'd experiment with making lemon-blueberry waffles.  They were a hit!  Absolutely our favorite version of sourdough waffles to date.  Don't forget, you do have to mix together a few things the night before so the starter has time to grow before morning! Enjoy!

Lemon-Blueberry Sourdough Waffles topped with fresh maple syrup and whipped cream, ready for eating! 

Lemon-Blueberry 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.
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:
zest of 2 meyer lemons (or regular lemons)
1 1/2 - 2 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed
The batter has lovely flecks of lemon zest in it, and is full of fresh blueberries.

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 favorite plain or apple-cinnamon waffles, because it keeps them from ever getting soggy on the bottom, especially if I make extras to freeze).
Nicely browned and ready to move to a cooling rack. 
Delicious served with maple syrup and whipped cream, but easily stand on their own without any toppings at all!  Enjoy!
Topped with maple syrup, ready to be eaten! Yum!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Corn & Bacon Chowder

This easy recipe is one of our favorite chowders to whip together on a cold night.  The best part is, it doesn't have any cream so it's not too heavy.  We love eating this with garlic bread or rolls - pretty much any of the recipes I've posted will do.  It's great as leftovers, too! Enjoy!

Ready to pop in a bowl to eat! Yum!

Corn & Bacon Chowder
Serves 4-6

In a large saucepan over medium heat melt:
1/4 cup butter

Add and cook, stirring regularly, until onion has softened:
1 onion, chopped
1 package smoked bacon (8 oz.), trim off the fattiest bits and chop coarsely (I prefer the nitrate-free kind)
2 tsp minced garlic

* You have two options for thickening the soup - you can add GF flour mix to thicken the soup now or add cornstarch to thicken at the end.
Option 1 for thickening soup: 
Once onion has softened, add and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute:
1/4 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix

Add and bring to boil over medium-high to high heat:
2 cups GF chicken stock OR 2 cups water + 3 tsp Asian mushroom seasoning
3 1/2 - 4 cups milk (lactose-free works great)
2-3 medium potatoes, chopped (peel potatoes if the skin is thick, wash and leave on if the skin is thin)
3/4 tsp. dried chives (OR you can add 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh chives just before serving)

Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, ~15 minutes, until potato is soft.

Add and bring back to boil/simmer:
2 cups frozen corn kernels

If you did NOT add GF flour mix earlier, do the following now to thicken the soup.
Option 2 for thickening soup: 
While soup is reheating, mix in a small bowl:
2 - 2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold milk

Pour the cornstarch and milk mixture into your boiling/simmering soup, and stir 1 minute to thicken.

Add fresh chives now if you did not use dried chives.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Great served with toasted buttered GF bread or rolls.  Enjoy!