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Friday, 25 April 2014

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

This is a wonderfully easy and gluten-free soup recipe to whip together for a meal.  It's packed with flavor, but make sure you use good quality cheddar cheese (I've used a mix of a mild cheddar and sharper white cheddar here). You can serve it with gluten-free rolls, garlic bread, homemade croutons, or plain (with a bit of extra shredded cheese on top).  Enjoy!

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup
Based on a recipe by Emeril Lagasse
Serves 4

In a medium-large pot over medium heat, cook until onions are tender (3-4 minutes):
2-3 Tbsp butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch nutmeg

Add and cook 30 seconds:
1/2 tsp minced garlic
pinch ground thyme

Add and cook 1 minute:
3 Tbsp Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix

Add slowly, stirring regularly to allow mixture to thicken:
3 cups chicken broth (OR 3 cups water + 3-4 tsp Asian mushroom seasoning)

Let soup come to a boil and thicken (4-5 minutes).
3 cups broccoli heads/tops

Let cook ~10-15 minutes, until broccoli softens. You may need to lower the heat to medium-low if it starts boiling too much.

Blend with a stick blender.
Mix into hot soup:
1-2 cups cheddar cheese

Serve with extra shredded cheese.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Fabulous Ice Cream Sandwiches

These really came about after making our third batch of brownie cookies and wondering how they'd work sandwiched with  (lactose-free) vanilla ice cream.  The brownie cookies are a very rich, dark cookie which pairs wonderfully with vanilla ice cream (or any other ice cream flavor you prefer).   You can prepare them in advance and the cookies will still be nice and soft after sitting out for a few minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Fabulous Ice Cream Sandwiches
Makes up to 15 ice cream sandwiches with one batch of flourless brownie cookies.

Make yourself a batch of brownie cookies.  You can leave out the chocolate chips if you don't want them in your ice cream sandwiches, but I prefer the extra milk and semi-sweet flavors.

Let cool, then sandwich with slightly softened vanilla ice cream (I use lactose-free).  Using a normal spoon, you can scoop two thin layers of ice cream for each sandwich - this helps the ice cream layer to be flat and even rather than scooping in a round ball.  

Serve immediately OR put in a covered tupperware in the freezer until ready to serve.  Can be prepared up to a week in advance (or longer, but they've never lasted that long in my house).


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Brownie Cookies - Delicious and Flourless!

These are wonderfully rich and delicious AND amazingly easy to mix together. You can mix them up in a bowl by hand, if you like!  If you like your food with a hint of cinnamon, put a little of that in, but for a plain, rich chocolate cookie you can leave it out.  There's plenty of flavor with the cocoa, milk and semi-sweet chocolate.  Make sure you use high quality cocoa and chocolate, since it will impact the flavor. Enjoy!
Fresh-baked brownie cookies with semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips. Yum!

Brownie Cookies
Makes 30 small cookies

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line cookie sheets with silicon liner or parchment paper.

Mix together in a large bowl (or mixer): You can mix these by hand, if you like.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey

Add and mix in:
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

Add and mix until combined:
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Mix in:
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup mini rolos
If you use the rolos, make larger cookies and only put 6 on a pan. Bake ~12-14 min.

Scoop 1 Tbsp sized scoops onto prepared pans.  Bake at 350F for 9-10 min.   Let rest a few minutes on pan before removing to cooling rack.  Leftovers freeze well, too. Enjoy!
Before baking 1 Tbsp sized cookies
After baking 1 Tbsp sized cookies.
A picture of the large cookies made with mini rolos.  The caramel will leak some from the cookies, but the taste will still be delicious.
Larger cookies made with mini rolos.  For 2 Tbsp sized scoops, it's best to make 6 per pan since they'll spread. Some will leak caramel during baking, but the cookies are delicious!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Peach Upside-Down Cake

This is an easy cake to whip together, and the best part is that even though it's an "upside-down" cake, you don't actually have to flip anything upside down until you're serving it. (My 3 year old won't actually let me flip her piece upside-down, because she thinks I'm messing up the cake).  We like that it's not too sweet - most of the sweetness comes from the peaches and jam on the bottom.  It's a wonderful springtime cake. Enjoy!

Ready to eat!

Peach Upside-Down Cake
Based on the recipe by gluten-free author Donna Washburn

Preheat oven to 350F.  
Butter an 8x8" pan. 

On the bottom of the pan spread: 
1/2 cup apricot-peach jam (not jelly)

On top of the jam, place: 
1 1/2 cups sliced peaches (Use either fresh peaches, peeled & sliced OR 500ml/16oz can in extra light syrup or juice, drained OR frozen peaches, thawed)

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl: It's important to mix dry ingredients separately in GF baking)
2/3 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup arrowroot starch or cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt

Beat in a mixer, until fluffy:
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar

Add in and mix in gently:
3 eggs

Add into mixer the following, alternating dry/wet to mix together gently:
Dry ingredients
1/2 cup pear juice or extra light syrup (from canned peaches) or milk

Spread batter over top peaches, smoothing top.  Let rest for 20 minutes on the counter before baking.  Bake at 350F for 40 minutes, until nicely browned.

You can serve this hot or cooled, but it's best still warm.  Cut slices and invert them when serving so the peaches/jam are on the top.  Enjoy! 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Apple-Cinnamon Bagels - Gluten-Free!

We do love bagels in my house. They're great breakfasts, great quick lunches, great snacks.  And sometimes, yes, they're dinner around here.  This is a slight variation on the cinnamon-sugar bagels we've been enjoying.  I've always loved pancakes, sourdough pancakes, German apple pancakeswaffles, sourdough waffles, and apple-cinnamon muffins with apple diced into them, so it seemed only proper I should turn another breakfast favorite, the cinnamon-sugar bagels into an apple-cinnamon bagel variety.  Enjoy!

Bagel with cream cheese, ready to be eaten!

Apple-Cinnamon Bagels - Gluten Free!
Makes 4-5 bagels (you can easily double the recipe)

Line cookie sheet with silicon mat or parchment paper.

In a 1 cup measuring cup mix and let rest 5 minutes:
1/3 cup warm water
2 Tbsp brown sugar (or honey)
1 tsp rapid rise yeast (quick-rise yeast)

Add to yeast mixture:
1 egg
2 Tbsp oil

Set liquids aside, and mix together in a mixer (it's important to mix the dry ingredients before adding wet so the xanthan gum gets thoroughly mixed in):
2/3 cup tapioca starch
½ cup brown rice flour
2 Tbsp potato starch
1 ¼ tsp xanthan gum
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt

Add liquids to mixer.  Mix on low, until combined.  Then mix on medium speed, scraping occasionally, for 2-3 minutes.  Batter will be nice and smooth.

Once dough has mixed thoroughly, fold in: 
1/2 apple, peeled and diced finely (I used a Cortland apple)
My half apple, finely diced.

Mix the following topping together while your batter is mixing: 
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Put batter into a Ziploc (I like the freezer bags because they’re stronger).  Cut ¾” – 1” off one corner.  Pipe 4-5 bagels onto prepared cookie sheet. Using wet hands, spread bagels so the holes are nice and big. You can also smooth out any areas that are a bit lumpy. 

Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar topping lightly on top of wet bagels.

Let rise in a warm location for 30-40 minutes.  They’ll look a bit puffier, but won’t fully double in size.
Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes until browned.  Cool on cooling rack.  

Once cooled, you can slice and freeze if you aren’t planning to eat them right away. These are great fresh with cream cheese, or if you eat them later, toasted with cream cheese.