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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Lobster Mac N' Cheese

This is a wonderful sauce, which works great over a gluten-free pasta.  It's so easy to whip together, too, but the result is a fabulous gourmet meal! Delicious!  It's wonderful served with toasted GF sourdough bread topped with garlic butter with a side salad for a restaurant-worthy meal.  We made this delicious dish when my mom and brother were visiting and it was a hit with everyone. Enjoy!!!

We made this dish with bacon-wrapped scallops for a delicious PEI feast!

Lobster Mac N' Cheese
Serves 4-6

Boil a large pot of water and cook 1 box Gluten-Free Pasta in salted water.  Rinse with cold water, and mix with cheesy lobster sauce.

While water is boiling/pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce:

In a large frying pan or medium saucepan over medium heat, cook until tender:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 vidalia (sweet) onion, chopped finely

Add, stirring constantly for 1 minute:
1/8 - 1/4 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix (less flour makes a runnier sauce, more makes a thicker one)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground pepper

Add in slowly, stirring constantly
2 cups milk (2% lactose-free works great)

Once mixture has thickened and is nice and smooth (about 5-7 minutes), add:
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese

1/3 lb cooked lobster meat, chopped 
sprinkle of paprika (optional)
Just so you can see the lovely lobster meat... 

Mix sauce with cooked, drained pasta and serve. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Blueberry-Plum Fried Fruit Pies

I was totally lame with picture-taking when I made these fried fruit pies.  But, they also went so quickly I really didn't get a chance!  The recipe is similar to my blueberry fried fruit pie recipe, but this time they have a yummy (and easy!) homemade pie filling packed with fresh blueberries and plums.  You'll love them. Enjoy!!!
A few piping hot pies ready to travel for a fun dessert after lunch with my friend Julie, who enjoyed them thoroughly :)

Blueberry Plum Fried Fruit Pies
With delicious homemade filling!
Makes ~8 pies

To prepare filling:
Mix together in a large bowl:
1 – 1 ¼ cup blueberries, rinsed and drained
1 – 1 ¼ cup sliced, ripe plums (~4 plums)
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup cold water

Pop the filling into a large skillet over medium heat.   Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture starts to cook and thicken.  At this point, you’ll want to add more water (¼  – ½ cup) so it’s not too thick.  You’re aiming for a final consistency similar to the pie pudding filling from a can.  Cook, stirring, until blueberries have started bubbling and you’re happy with the consistency.   Remove from heat and let cool completely before using in fried fruit pies. I found it didn’t need covering. I’d give it a stir now and then as it cools.   Your filling will end up a lovely pink/purple color from the mixture of blueberries and plums.

To finish the fried fruit pies, follow the dough recipe and instructions from the blueberry fried fruit pie recipe, using your wonderful fresh blueberry-plum fruit filling to fill your pies.  Let cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!
Fresh fried pies - ready sprinkle with powdered sugar and devour!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Spinach Basil Pesto! (Nut-Free!!!)

Most times, when I use pesto, I just use the tasty pre-made kind.  Most of the time it's because I just don't have enough basil leaves, though.  But when family or friends visit that are allergic to nuts, I think it's nice (and so easy!) to whip up homemade pesto.  Our fabulous organic veggie CSA (community supported agriculture) program Heartbeet Organics provided us with some wonderful basil plants and plenty of delicious spinach the past couple weeks, so it was only appropriate to whip together a nut-free spinach-basil pesto to be used on pasta, pizza, or in recipes like the tasty pesto pasta salad.   I love that if you make a spinach-basil pesto you don't need quite as much basil, which is great early in the season when basil plants are still small.  You can easily make this recipe with nuts by adding in 1/4 - 1/2 cup pine nuts when you're blending things together, but I personally don't think it needs them at all.  Enjoy!
Freshly made!

Spinach Basil Pesto (Nut Free!)
Makes ~ 1 1/4 cups pesto

Blend together in a food processor:
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 - 2 tsp dried basil (optional, but nice if you don't have a heaping 1/2 cup of basil leaves)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup grated romano cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 - 1 tsp ground pepper
1/3 - 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (adjust as desired, since it tends to depend on how you packed/measured your spinach & basil leaves)

Store in the refrigerator 1 - 2 weeks, or freeze up to a month.  

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Easy & Delicious Gluten-Free Focaccia Bread

This tasty focaccia bread is so easy to whip up.  You can use it as a side-dish, or slice/pull it apart to use it as tasty sandwich bread.  My 3 year old loves helping me make this because I let her brush the dough with olive oil, and she gets to help sprinkle on the toppings, too.

We used it here for breadsticks.  I cut these in half again to make the a bit shorter, and they were great dipped in spaghetti sauce.
An easy sandwich whipped together on focaccia bread. Yum!

Focaccia Bread
based on a recipe from the only GF cookbook I'd recommend, "Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking"
Makes 1 large cookie-sheet sized focaccia

Preheat oven to 400F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Butter edges and anywhere the parchment paper might not cover.

In a mixer, combine the following dry ingredients:
3 cups Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp quick-rise yeast
2 Tbsp sugar

Add in, mix slowly, then increase speed to medium. Beat 2-3 minutes:
2 cups warm water
2 eggs
4 Tbsp olive oil

Spread in prepared baking pan.

Brush with 2 Tbsp olive oil.
My 3 year old brushing the focaccia with olive oil.  She loves making this bread! 

Sprinkle with:
fresh ground salt
dried oregano
dried basil

Let rise 15-20 minutes in a warm location.
The focaccia ready to bake after a 15-20 minute rise.

Bake at 400F for ~20 - 25 minutes, until nicely browned.  Remove from oven.  Let sit a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack (remove parchment paper, too).  You can cut warm or cool with a bread knife.  

Fresh out of the oven. 
Cut into strips for breadsticks OR cut into squares to use for sandwiches.  Enjoy!