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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

My Favorite Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes!

We happily celebrate Thanksgiving in our house - twice. Thank you Canada and US for allowing us to celebrate both in October AND November.  We're twice as grateful (and probably twice as rolly-polly, too).   In honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving #2, here's a list of a bunch of my favorite recipes that I enjoy choosing from for Thanksgiving meals!  Sometimes it's nice to just have them all in one location!  Happy cooking!!! 
Gluten-free Delicious Thanksgiving Desserts - the best part, right?

My Favorite Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes!

Vegetable or Fruit Platters - just go with what you love and arrange it nicely.
Spinach Artichoke Dip
My Dad's Favorite Shrimp Dip
Steamed Artichokes w/ butter

A spread for a small Thanksgiving - rolls, cranberry-pumpkin bread, tomatoes & fresh basil (thanks to my neighbor, turkey, gravy, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cornbread stuffing, cranberry sauce). Yum!

Main Dishes:
Turkey, Turkey Stock/Broth & Gravy (I like to season, butter, and bake at 425 F in a straight-forward manner. I like to season according to my chicken recipe here - I just tripled it for the turkey, and basted a few times during cooking.  I also made it in a pan with a rack the turkey sat on and used the drippings for a gravy, made from that same chicken recipe, just quadrupled!). 
Homemade Cornbread Stuffing Recipe and/or Cornbread with honey butter
My New Favorite Versatile Rolls Recipe
Julie's Brown Bread
Mashed Potatoes (boil, drain, and mash with butter, milk, salt & pepper)
Sweet Potatoes (boil, drain, and mash with butter, milk, salt & pepper, and other herbs, if desired - like rosemary, oregano)
Au Gratin Potatoes
Pumpkin Soup OR Butternut Squash Soup
Cranberry-Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
Pumpkin Swirl Bread
Our Family Punch Recipe (great for all ages!)

Little arms awaiting the pies!  Plus fresh fruit and some yummy meringues my neighbor brought along. Yum!  Here we have an apple galette, lemon meringue pie, pumpkin pie, and chocolate pudding pie. 

Apple Galette or Crumble-topped Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie OR Pumpkin Squares
Lemon Meringue Pie
Chocolate Pudding Pie - make and cook a buttermilk pastry pie crust. Fill with rich & creamy chocolate pudding made with 1/4 - 1/2 cup less milk.  Press plastic wrap to top of pudding, and let cool/refrigerate until serving.  
Fabulous Coconut Cream Pie
Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie
Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie
Peach Galette
Blueberry-Plum Galette
Apple Crisp
Blueberry Crisp
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
Apple Muffins

Another shot of dessert - because it's our favorite! 

Monday, 6 November 2017

Crispy-topped Peach Cobbler (My Quick Version)

This yummy crispy-topped peach cobbler is based off Zilpha's Peach Cobbler recipe, the grandmother of a family friend.  Zilpha used fresh peaches and quite a bit of extra sugar, but I tweaked it a bit to make a recipe perfect for the peach slices canned in water or extra-light syrup.  Still delicious and packed with the flavors and crispy topping Zilpha intended. Enjoy!
Gluten Free Peach Cobbler
Fresh peach cobbler, ready to eat! 

Peach Cobbler/Crisp
Makes one 8 x 8 pan

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In an 8 x 8 glass pan, combine the following:
48 oz/ 1.4 liters/ 6 cups canned peach slices, drained (use peaches canned in water or extra-light syrup)  OR peel and slice ~3-4 fresh, ripe peaches
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1-2 tsp cinnamon

Mix together in a large bowl (if you want a lighter topping, make half the amount listed here - it'll work perfectly well, too!):
1 cup Kristin's Gluten-free Flour Mix
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Add, chopping in with a pastry cutter until you have a crumbly topping:
3 Tbsp butter, chilled
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Sprinkle the crumb topping over the prepared peaches.  Bake at 350 F for ~50 minutes, until topping is browning.  Serve hot or warm!

This peach cobbler is so flavorful, it can be served alone - no ice cream or whipped cream needed!  Enjoy!
Gluten Free Peach Cobbler
A peach cobbler made with the larger amount of crumb topping - for a juicier cobbler, make 1/2 the topping. Either way it's delicious!

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Pumpkin Granola Cookies

I love making things with fresh pumpkin puree.  I actually have found that you can cook other fall squash like acorn squash or turban squash and use it just like pumpkin puree, too!  Kind of fun, and helpful if you're having a hard time finding the sweeter pie pumpkins.  (Plus, they tend to be available nearly year-round).   These cookies combine some of my favorite things - pumpkin, coconut, cranberries, and a touch of cinnamon!  I wanted something a little more granola-bar like, but that still had a large amount of pumpkin in the actual batter.  These are ideal! You could even shape them into little granola bar shapes, if you like! Enjoy!
Pumpkin Granola Cookies
Fresh Pumpkin granola cookies - filled with pumpkin, oats, coconut and cranberries. Yum! 

Pumpkin Granola Cookies
Makes ~36

In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cup oats (make sure they're GF if celiac or sensitive)
3/4 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/8 - 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 - 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a large bowl or mixer, beat together:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or 100% canned pumpkin)
1/3 - 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Add dry ingredients and mix, just until combined.

Add and mix in:
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Scoop 1 Tbsp scoops onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.  12 per sheet.  Flatten a bit with your palm (yes, it's a little sticky).
Pumpkin Granola Cookies
Scoop and flatten. They don't spread much, so you can put more than normal on a tray. 

 Bake at 350 F for 12-13 minutes, until cookies are just browned at the edges.  Let rest on the pan for 3-5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Great warm or cooled.  Once cooled, these freeze perfectly - so you can make them in advance and have them for breakfast or snacks!  Enjoy!
Pumpkin Granola Cookies
Let them rest a few minutes on the tray before removing to your cooling rack. 

Monday, 23 October 2017

Vietnamese-style Fried Spring Rolls - gluten-free with homemade dipping sauce

Fried spring rolls always seem like something to dream of eating, unless you can find ones made with rice wrappers and fried in a designated gluten-free fryer. I've only ever found them at a couple of Vietnamese restaurants and they are delicious!  However, sometimes I want to be able to make and eat them at home.   After many attempts, I finally figured out the trick!  They need to be wrapped tightly, but most importantly, they need to have time sitting and drying in the refrigerator.  Any damp spots on the outer edges of your rice wrapper will be weak and liable to break while frying.  This recipe takes some preparation, but mostly you need to make the filling and roll up your spring rolls well in advance, so they'll have time to dry thoroughly before you fry them up! Enjoy!!!!
GF Fried Spring Rolls
Freshly wrapped spring rolls, ready for drying and then frying! 
Yes, these tasted like restaurant-style friend spring rolls! Yum! 

Fried Spring Rolls
Makes ~24 fried spring rolls (yes, you can halve the recipe!)

This recipe requires time for preparation, cooling, and drying.  Make sure you prepare the meat/vegetable filling early so it can cool.  Once you fill/wrap your spring rolls, you'll want them to dry in the the refrigerator ~2 hours before frying to alleviate stickiness upon cooking. 

In a large frying pan over medium to medium-high heat, heat:
1 Tbsp avocado oil (or oil of your choice)

Add and cook 2-3 minutes:
2-3 leeks, thinly sliced and rinsed thoroughly
2 bunches green onions (~12 stalks), thinly sliced
salt & pepper (just enough to sprinkle/grind over the top)

Add, stirring until pork is cooked thoroughly (a few minutes):
3/4 lb ground pork

Add and cook 1 minute:
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
6-7 cloves garlic, minced

Add and cook 1 minute, then remove from heat:
2-3 Tbsp Bragg's soy seasoning (or GF soy sauce)
1 tsp agave or 1 tsp sugar

Put pork/vegetable mixture into refrigerator and allow to cool at least 1 hour.
Freshly made filling. 

Fill a large pot 1/4 - 1/2 with water and bring to a boil.
Boil 1/3 pkg of rice vermicelli noodles + 2 tsp salt for 5 minutes.  Drain and place noodles in a bowl.

Have a tea kettle of hot/boiling water readily available for preparing spring rolls.

Fill a plate with boiling water.  Quickly dip spring roll wrapper (rice wrapper) in hot/boiling water.   Place wrapper on a fresh plate, and quickly fill with a small handful of noodles and small spoonful of pork/vegetable filling.  Wrap the spring roll by tightly wrapping one half, folding in both sides, then fully rolling (like a burrito or egg roll).
A dollop of rice noodles and filling in the center of a dampened rice wrapper. 
Roll up one side, then tuck in the two outer edges.  Then you can roll it up the rest of the way.  

Place your freshly wrapped spring roll on a plastic-wrap lined pan or cutting board (one that will fit into the refrigerator).   Repeat with as many spring rolls as you like, changing out the water regularly so you are using very hot water.  You have filling to make ~25-30 - *the extra filling is great mixed with the noodles, or served atop noodles if you don't want to make a huge number of spring rolls.

Let spring rolls dry in the refrigerator 1 hour.  Flip them all over, and let them continue to dry on the other side for 1 hour (or longer).  *This is a key part of making these fried spring rolls.  If you don't let them dry, they'll break/burst during frying.

Spring rolls, partway through drying, being rolled over. 

Heat frying oil in deep-fryer to ~350-360 F.   Carefully place a spring roll into the oil.  Let it cook briefly, before rolling it over, to allow that side to cook briefly.  This will help remove the stickiness from the outer sides of the rice wrapper.  Carefully repeat, until you have 3 rolls cooking.   If the rolls touch before they have a chance to cook a little, they can stick together.  Not the end of the world, since they're still edible, but you don't end up with nice individual spring rolls.

Cook each roll approximately 3 minutes, until just browning.  The edges will be nice and crispy.  Remove to paper towel-lined pan or plate.

Serve hot, alongside dipping sauce of your choice, or the mix together the following dipping sauce:

Delicious fried spring roll dipping sauce: 

Mix together the following:
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 Tbsp Bragg's soy seasoning (or GF soy sauce)
1-2 tsp agave
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garlic-chili sauce


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)

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Spinach Artichoke Dip - easy & chilled!

A new family favorite!!! I based this tasty spinach artichoke dip off a yummy rendition I had while visiting Lunenberg, Nova Scotia.  The restaurant there served a light, fluffy, and chilled spinach artichoke dip that we loved (although it tasted like they used mascarpone cheese in lieu (or perhaps in addition to) cream cheese, where I used only cream cheese here. If you have mascarpone about, add in a dollop!   I was inspired to recreate something similar because it was just too delicious and perfect on a hot summer (or any time of year) day not to be able to eat regularly.  I had to post this recipe, because my mom has big plans to make it again tomorrow.  Enjoy!
Fresh, homemade spinach artichoke dip.  The left was whipped until light and smooth, the right is a chunkier version (just not blended as long).  Yum!

Spinach Artichoke Dip
Makes enough for two dipping bowls (2-3 cups of dip)

In a large pot with a lid, cook over high heat:
1 package fresh spinach
1/4 - 1/3 cup water

Steam just until spinach has wilted, then remove from heat.  Let spinach cool slightly before blending with other ingredients.

In a blender, whip together:
~3/4 cup artichoke hearts, marinated in oil (removed from oil)
1 cup steamed spinach, drained (from above)
4 oz plain cream cheese (or a mix of mascarpone & cream cheese)
1 cup grated pepper jack cheese (monterey jack w/ hot peppers) 
1/4 - 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream (to desired thickness - you can use milk, but I like the texture from the cream)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground pepper
dash cayenne powder
1/4 - 1/2 tsp paprika
2 cloves roasted garlic (OR 1/2 tsp dried garlic powder OR 1 clove fresh garlic)

You can blend this only slightly to keep it chunkier, or you can let it really whip to create a light, fluffy dip reminiscent of the texture of hummus.   Personally, I prefer letting it really blend until it's smooth, light, and fluffy.

This spinach-artichoke dip is perfect served with corn tortilla chips or fresh homemade GF naan bread (our favorite!).  Enjoy!

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Chicken Saag Pizza!

Leftover homemade chicken saag is wonderful on homemade pizza crusts (GF or otherwise), topped with a little mozzarella, goat cheese & fresh sliced shallots.  The saag is rich, so you can use just a light sprinkling of toppings and cheese.  Not only do you get to have chicken saag again (yum!), but you'll turn an ordinary pizza into an extraordinary one!  Enjoy!
Chicken Saag Pizza
GF Chicken Saag Pizza, topped and ready for the oven! 

I've found that for GF pizzas, it's often best to bake toppings on partially or fully baked GF pizza crusts to avoid any sogginess and to end up with a nice browned, crispy crust.

Our current favorite crust has been to use GF homemade naan bread as our crust.  Just make and bake as instructed, removing the naan bread/pizza crusts from the pan and parchment paper to cool once it comes out of the oven.  When you're ready to top the pizza, then return the naan bread to the parchment-lined baking pan and top with the following:

Chicken Saag, warmed a bit and used as the pizza sauce
fresh mozzarella, sliced
shallots, thinly sliced
green scallions, thinly sliced
crumbled feta cheese
thin tomato slices, optional (the ones pictured here were tiny yellow tomatoes)
green bell pepper, optional
red cayenne pepper flakes, optional

Once you're pizzas are topped, bake in the oven at 450 F for ~7 minutes, until toppings are hot and cheese is just beginning to brown.   (Some GF crusts require baking directly on the rack, others, like the GF naan bread, can be baked on a parchment-lined pan - follow the instructions of your crust).
Chicken Saag Pizza
A yummy chicken saag pizza, fresh out of the oven and ready to eat! 

Slice pizza and place immediately on a cooling rack to keep the bottom nice and crispy. Enjoy!  

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Homemade Thin Mint Ice Cream!

Summertime is a the time of year when I most enjoy eating ice cream all by itself.  Generally, I prefer a tiny dollop on top of something like a warm fruit crisp.  One of my favorite flavors of ice cream is a mint chocolate chip and the other in pre-gluten-free days was a mint oreo flavor made by this wonderful ice cream shop in Boston.  This ice cream provides the best of both worlds!  A yummy cookie crumble, bits of chocolate, and mint all infused together in one delicious ice cream.  And, best of all you won't need all the cookies from your batch of GF thin mint cookies for this recipe, so you'll have extras to serve on the side.  Enjoy!
Gluten Free Thin Mint Ice Cream
A delicious fresh batch of homemade GF thin mint ice cream! 
Gluten Free Thin Mint Ice Cream
A rather crazy looking scoop of scrumptious ice cream with a GF thin mint cookie on the side! 

Homemade Thin Mint Ice Cream

Mix in a bowl:
3 cups 10% lactose-free cream (OR regular light cream OR 1 cup cream + 2 cups milk)
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
2 drops peppermint essential oil (I love the Doterra peppermint oil in this recipe - and much prefer it to an extract)

Mix ~10-15 minutes in your ice cream maker (according to the directions on your ice cream maker).  While mixing, you can crush your homemade GF thin mint cookies, enough so you have about 1 cup of crushed cookie crumbs.  I like to leave some larger pieces and some smaller pieces.  It's easy to crush the cookies by placing in a freezer ziploc and rolling or hit with a rolling pin.

After the 10-15 minutes of churning, add to ice cream maker:
1 cup crushed homemade gluten-free thin mints.

Continue mixing until ice cream has thickened, as directed by your ice cream maker.  Scoop ice cream into a freezer-safe container and let chill ~2 hours before serving.  Feel free to serve alongside a few extra cookies! Enjoy!!!!