Search for a Recipe

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Kristin's Homemade Rice Crackers

Finally!  A delicious cracker that's both easy, crispy (and stays crispy for several days!), and can be easily modified to add desired flavors.  I've tried many cracker recipes that just didn't have the taste and texture I was wanting - which mean I often ended up making our favorite 'cheez-it' style crackers.  But, I still wanted a plain cracker that could be used for dipping or topping without having cheese added into the dough.  The trick, I found, is using cooked short-grain brown rice - it's stickiness is perfect for these crackers.  I loved brushing these with a spicy chipotle-infused olive oil before baking, but you can use the olive oil of your choice.  These are ready to eat fresh out of the oven, or you can cool them to eat later.  Enjoy!
Homemade Gluten Free Rice Crackers
Delicious homemade gluten-free crackers, ready for toppings!  

Kristin's Homemade Rice Crackers
Makes about 24

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix together with a spoon:
1/2 cup cooked short-grain brown rice
1/2 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda

5 Tbsp cold water

Mix until dough just holds together.  You can add another tablespoon of water if it's too crumbly.  

Scoop dough onto parchment paper.  Top with plastic wrap and roll dough until it's nice and thin - however thing you want your crackers is how thin you should roll it.  Remove plastic wrap.  Slice the parchment paper onto a cookie sheet.

Brush the top with:
1 Tbsp olive oil (herb-infused or chipotle-flavored olive oils are delicious)

Sprinkle the top lightly with:
fresh ground salt

Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Slice into cracker-sized squares and flip all squares over. (OR, you can flip the whole thing first, then slice into cracker-sized squares). 
Bake an additional 5-10 minutes.
Gluten Free Homemade Rice Crackers

Cool on a wire rack and eat hot, warm or cool.  Great with sharp cheddar cheese, or any favorite cracker toppings.  Store in a tightly-sealed Tupperware.  These are best within the first few days to retain crispness.   

Monday, 22 February 2016

Fabulous Caramel-filled Brownie Petit Fours

In my opinion, a 'petit fours' should be small, beautiful and delicious - and typically look like a mini cake.  Often petit fours are coated in a glaze or frosting on the outside, but they don't need to be.  I created this recipe for my son's 10th birthday.  He took some to school and we had some (many) for home celebrations, too!  They were a great success!  They're wonderful at room temperature, but we soon found out that if you warm them up just enough that the frosting starts to melt, they turn themselves into a delicious version of a molten chocolate cake.  Such fun!  Enjoy!

Caramel-Filled Brownie Petit Fours that my son took to school to share on his birthday.  

Fabulous Caramel-filled Brownie Petit Fours
Makes ~24 two-layered petit fours

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Mix together in a large bowl until smooth (a spoon or whisk will work fine):
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup cocoa powder

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

Mix in gently, just until combined:
1 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Pour batter onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
Don't worry about pushing the batter all the way to the edges.  It will spread naturally during baking and fill the pan.
Bake at 350 F for ~18-20 minutes.  Place pan on a wire rack.  You can either slice immediately into small squares (2" - 3" depending on the size you'd like) or cool completely and then slice into squares.  I have found waiting until the brownies are cool gives a sharper edge to the squares.
I cut 6 x 8 squares, with little edges left over for snacking.
Allow brownies to cool completely.  While brownies are cooking, make a small batch of caramels, as follows:

Homemade Caramels: 

Butter one 8"x8" pan.

In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, combine:
2 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup whipping/heavy cream
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
pinch salt

Cook until caramel reaches 234-235 F on a candy thermometer.  Immediately remove from heat and mix in:
3/4 tsp vanilla bean paste OR vanilla extract

Pour caramels into buttered 8 x 8 pan and set on wire rack to cool.

Once brownies are completely cool and caramels are mostly cool (they can be a little warm to assemble and it's fine), prepare one batch of my Chocolate Marshmallow Fluff Frosting.

To assemble, place a brownie on a new piece of parchment paper.  Pipe chocolate frosting around the edges of the top of the brownie square.  Cut and place a square of homemade caramel in the center of the brownie, inside the frosting (this keeps the caramel in nicely).  Top with a 2nd brownie square.  Pipe a little swirl of frosting on top.  (I had a little extra white marshmallow fluff frosting, so I did swirls on the tops of a few of them).
Brownie squares with a piping of frosting and square of homemade caramel between.  
Chocolate two-layered petit fours are the in the back of this photo.  They were so pretty and delicious, too!

You can serve immediately or store in a closed container.  These can be stored several days in the refrigerator.  Allow them to come to room temperature before serving, or heat them up a little, just until the frosting is melting, for more of a molten-chocolate cake type dessert.   Enjoy!!!!
Chocolate & Vanilla/raspberry (recipe to come) petit fours served with extra caramel warmed up and drizzled overtop! 
One happy birthday boy (and his equally happy sister)! 

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Delicious Cheesy Grits & BBQ Shrimp with homemade BBQ sauce!

My sister pointed out to me that I was lacking a cheesy grits recipe on my blog.  Grits, made from a coarse cornmeal, are naturally gluten-free.   I have posted a tasty polenta recipe we love, but cheesy grits are definitely something that needed it's very own recipe!  BBQ shrimp (made either on the BBQ or in the oven if your BBQ is covered in snow) are a perfect accompaniment to fresh, homemade grits.  Served alongside a salad and it's a delicious meal.  Enjoy!

Cheesy Grits and BBQ Shrimp with homemade BBQ sauce, served with salad on the side. Yum! 

Delicious Cheesy Grits & BBQ Shrimp (with homemade BBQ sauce!)
Serves 6

Prepare Homemade BBQ Sauce (can be made in advance and refrigerated up to a week): (or have your own favorite BBQ sauce at the ready)

Cook over medium heat ~ 5 minutes:
2 Tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced finely

Add and cook ~1 minute:
2 tsp minced garlic

Mix in:
1 cup tomato sauce
6 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried ground mustard
pinch cloves
salt & pepper, to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp of each - adding a little extra pepper at the end)

Simmer over low to medium-low heat for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  BBQ sauce will thicken as it cooks.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to use, up to 1 week.
My batch of BBQ sauce - a little over 1 1/2 cups after simmering.

Delicious Cheesy Grits
Preheat oven to 425 F or prepare your BBQ to heat (and/or cook) shrimp.

Bring to a boil:
4 cups chicken broth/stock (Asian mushroom seasoning works nicely in lieu of broth/stock)

Add, then lower heat to medium-low to cook:
1 cup grits (I used white grits, but yellow or white are both fine. Just don't use quick-cooking grits).
3/4 tsp garlic powder

Cook over medium-low heat, stirring regularly for 20 minutes. Start cooking shrimp (instructions below) when there are about 5-10 minutes remaining on your grits, so everything finishes at the same time.

After 20 minutes, grits will be tender at this point and the mixture will have thickened.
Remove grits from heat.  Stir in the following:
1/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp milk
1 - 1 1/2 cups grated cheese (sharp cheddar, Mexican cheese blend, cheddar blend)
salt & pepper, to taste (i use more pepper than salt, because of the salt in the butter and cheese)

Serve immediately with BBQ shrimp, below.
Cheesy Grits - Is there a way to take a nice picture of the entire pot?  I'm not sure there is, but they were wonderfully creamy and delicious.

BBQ Shrimp
You can use either the cooked shrimp or raw shrimp (allowing longer cooking time).  I like to use the peeled, deveined, pre-cooked shrimp bought frozen.  I thaw it and then use it as directed below:

Spread shrimp on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with BBQ sauce.  Bake at 425 F for about 5-7 minutes, until hot through and BBQ sauce is bubbling nicely.
Skewer shrimps for the BBQ or put them in a BBQ-proof cooking tray.  Heat on the BBQ, brushing a few times with additional sauce, about 5-7 minutes.

Serve with cheesy grits and extra BBQ sauce on the side.  Nice with a big side salad, too!  Enjoy! 

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Delicious Vanilla Cupcakes (colorful or plain)

Wintertime means birthdays galore around here.  These are some of our favorite vanilla cupcakes to whip together for celebrations (unless someone wants chocolate, lemon, pumpkin spice, caramel-filled, etc.).   These have been a hit whenever and wherever I've taken them.  They also made an appearance at my brother's gluten-free wedding reception, where they served as the backdrop for all the leftover frosting flavors we had after finishing other cupcakes.  Theses particular cupcakes are moist and rich, thanks to the coconut flour.  I love them best paired with my marshmallow frosting.  Enjoy!
White & pink swirled marshmallow fluff frosting, with tops dipped in pink sugar.  A little girl's 5th birthday only happens once! 
What to do with a little extra chocolate marshmallow fluff frosting?! Top delicious vanilla cupcakes, of course! 

Delicious Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes 18

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line 18 cupcake cups with paper liners.

Mix together in a bowl:
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Mix in until smooth:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil 
2 tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)

Add and mix in until smooth:
6 eggs

The batter will be runny. This is okay because coconut flour absorbs a lot of liquid while cooking.
Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

Let cool on a wire rack.  Then top with my favorite marshmallow fluff frosting OR my favorite chocolate marshmallow frosting

Filled them halfway with plain batter, then dropped spoonfuls of purple in the center.
Purple was followed by pink, for a crazy cupcake surprise inside for the kids! 
They looked a little odd without frosting, but the kids absolutely loved the colorful insides.  I think I'll swirl them a bit next time.
Not as exciting, plain vanilla cupcakes - ready for frosting!
The almost 2 year old - tempting herself by trying to grab the cupcake on the end despite mom repeatedly telling her not to touch it.
The birthday girl herself!  Winter hats and curly hair = wintry chaos.  These colorful cupcakes were a huge hit at school! 

Friday, 5 February 2016

Easy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Flan

This is such a fun alternative to traditional flan.  We loved eating flan last summer while travelling around France, but it's taken me awhile to get around to experimenting.  Wintertime seemed optimal for whipping up flan after flan.  (No one has complained yet). The best thing about this particular pumpkin version of flan is that it separates into two layers during cooking, which gives a fancy look to the dish.  This recipe is easy to whip together, but does require at least 40 minutes to cook and then a few hours to cool.  Although, we regularly taste-test while it's warm, and it's delicious warm or chilled.  My friend Julie highly approved when I brought her a few pieces for sampling (one piece wouldn't have been enough!) Enjoy!

Pumpkin Flan Gluten Free
Delicious pumpkin flan - gluten-free & picturesque

Easy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Flan

Butter 8" x 8" pan.  Preheat oven to 350 F.
This bakes for about 1 hr and cools for 1-4 hours.

Heat over medium heat until almost boiling (just bubbling around edges):
3/4 cup 10% cream (lactose-free works great)
2 cups 3% milk (lactose-free works great) *for a richer flan, use only 10% cream*
1 tsp sugar (this little bit of sugar keeps the milk from sticking/burning to the bottom of the pan)

While milk/cream are heating, whisk together the following so it's ready for the milk to be added:
1/2 cup 100% pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
4 eggs
2/3 cup sugar

Add and whisk in:
1/2 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
pinch salt

When milk/cream are heated and just about to bubble, whisk milk/cream into egg mixture.  Whisk rapidly the entire time until batter is smooth.  Pour into prepared pan. Don't worry if there are bubbles on the top.
GF Pumpkin Flan, ready to be cooked!

Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes.  Without opening the oven, lower heat to 300 F.  Bake another 30-45 minutes, until the flan seems set in the middle.  It should puff up a bit on top when done.
Puffed up in the oven - often it doesn't puff up quite this much. 
Fresh GF Pumpkin Flan, after cooling 10 minutes.  The top will sink down.

Remove from oven to cooling rack for 1 hour.  It will sink a little after cooling a bit.  Cool an additional few hours in the refrigerator before serving (although we never make it that long and usually taste-test after 1 hour).   Slice and serve chilled.  Enjoy! 

Monday, 1 February 2016

The Speedy Version of my Favorite Sourdough White Bread & Rolls

I really do love making sourdough breads (and waffles and pizza crusts and rolls), but sometimes I just don't have the time to let things rise for hours or attend to the starter regularly.  This was an experiment that succeeded with flying colors, giving me that same delicious taste I love in my favorite sourdough bread, but in a short amount of time! Win-win!  I've made the recipe as written below, but I've also doubled it to make an assortment of large loaves, mini loaves and rolls.  I've even used the dough to make thin, crispy pizza crusts, which are delicious.  I'll post the pizza instructions soon! In the meantime, enjoy!

Gluten Free Delicious Bread and Rolls
Fresh loaves of gluten-free bread, fresh from the oven.  We couldn't wait for them to cool before we dove into a loaf.
Gluten Free Delicious Bread and Rolls
Fresh GF rolls - baked in a 9" x 13" pan.  They were perfect for open-faced tuna melts.
Gluten Free Delicious Bread and Rolls
It slices SO well and is filled with holes, just like a proper loaf should be. 

The Speedy Version of my Favorite Sourdough White Bread
Makes 2 loaves or 4-5 mini loaves

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Butter 2 regular loaf pans or 4-5 mini loaf pans.

In a 2 cup measuring cup combine and let rest 5-10 minutes until you have at least 1 1/2 cups of puffy yeast mixture (more is fine):
1 cup warm/hot water
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp quick-rise yeast
This was a double batch, so I needed it to rise until I had 3 cups of yeast mixture instead of 1 1/2 cups.

In a mixer combine:
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup white rice flour (OR 1/4 cup sorghum flour + 1/4 cup white rice flour)
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup arrowroot
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt

Add and mix in:
1 1/2 (at least) cups puffy yeast mixture, from above
2 eggs
2 egg whites
4 Tbsp oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Beat for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Fill each buttered bread pan a little less than 1/2 full with bread dough.   Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm location until dough doubles and hits the top of the plastic wrap.  This bread will only bake as high as it rises.  For rolls, scoop even scoops of dough into a buttered 9x13 pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.  Remove plastic wrap.
Bread after rising to the top of the pan. 

Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes for mini loaves and 40-45 for regular loaves or about 30-35 minutes for a pan of rolls.   Remove bread/rolls from pans and cool on a cooling rack.  You can slice thin or thick.  Whatever you won't use that day, slice and freeze.  It reheats perfectly.  Enjoy!
Gluten Free Delicious Bread and Rolls
Gluten Free bread fresh from the oven! Yum! 

Gluten Free Delicious Bread and Rolls
Mini GF loaves, fresh from the oven.  These were filled more like 1/3 full and rose almost to the tops of the pans before baking.