Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gluten Free Vanilla Syrup

My favorite way to eat on of my favorite breakfast foods.
Vanilla Syrup

Let's be honest here.
This stuff is amazing.
I don't know the secret.
I'm just considering myself lucky to have the recipe.
(This is another great one from my friend, Shunae.
Thank you, I owe you my first born child...)

Now you can drown your favorite pancakes, waffles, french toast, whatever you like in this delicious syrup.  It seems weird to put in the baking soda, but it adds such a nice froth, don't think it's a typo, it's absolutely correct.
Enjoy!  Making this for breakfast makes it worth getting up in the morning!

Gluten Free Vanilla Syrup

1 cube butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk + 1/2 T. vinegar 
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla

In a large sauce pan, melt butter.  Add sugar and milk/vinegar over medium heat.  Stir often.
Bring to a boil then remove from heat.
Add baking soda and vanilla.
Serve with your favorite breakfast foods.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gluten Free Sour Cream Peach Pie

Sometimes the dead of winter has me wishing for summer.
And thinking of summer it makes me think of this delicious peach pie!

Now, this recipe won a lot of money in a contest, $2,500 to be exact.
So you know it has to be good.
Sherrel Dikes made up and submitted this recipe to the Great American Pie Show and was featured in the Taste of Home Magazine.
(That's how I got the recipe, and you can find the other winners on-line).
It originally was not GF, but with a little modifying we reap the benefits.

The thing I love about this pie is the crunchy top and the creamy middle.
And the sweet peaches of course.
And if you're hankering for a slice today, make with frozen peaches that have been thawed.
Not quite as good, but it'll get you through til next fall.

Here's a quick guide for peeling the peaches.  Makes it super easy:
Blanch the peaches. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add peaches (Be sure that the peaches are covered with water).  Boil for exactly 1 minute.  Do not over cook.  You only want the outside to be cooked, not the entire peach, it would result in a mushy mess, and that would be a sad ending to the beautiful cobbler.
When peaches have boiled for only 1 minute, drain peaches and place in a bowl of ice water for 1 minute.  This will stop the peaches from cooking.  Then just pinch the skin of peach with your fingers and the skin should just peel off.  Make it your personal goal to get the skin off in one piece, a fun game to keep things interesting.

Gluten Free Sour Cream Peach Pie
by Sherrell Dikes

1 Gluten Free Pie Crust
4 cups sliced, peeled peaches
2 T. peach or apricot preserves
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup GF mix (straight rice flour is too grainy)
1 t. vanilla extract

1/2 cup GF mix (or rice flour)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon
3 T. pecans (I've never used because I have picky dessert eaters around here, but I think the pecans would make it delicious!)
1/4 cup cold butter

Line a 9-in. pie plate with pastry; trim and flute edges.
In a large bowl, combine peaches and preserves.  Transfer to pastry.  In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, sour cream, egg yolks, flour and vanilla.  Pour over peaches.
Bake at 425 for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the flour, sugars, pecans (if using) and cinnamon.  Cut in butter until crumbly; sprinkle over pie.  Cover edges of crust to prevent overbrowning.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a knife in the center comes out clean and topping is golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.  Then refrigerate.  Serve when well chilled.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Gluten Free Pasta Tips

Tired of a puddle of mush under tomato sauce?
Here's some of my Gluten Free pasta making tips!

I love a big bowl of noodles covered in a delicious sauce.  
Any sauce, I'm not picky...
marinara, pesto, Alfredo, browned butter...
It's all good.

But the first thing that we need to cover is how to get that spectacular bowl of noodles.

Pick noodles that you like the best.
I personally like brown rice pasta the best.
Quinoa and corn taste a little too grain-y for me, but they do hold their shape better.

The first key to making good noodles, is to not overcook.
Bring the water to a boil, then add the noodles.  
I set the timer for the shortest amount of time on the directions.  When the timer goes off I test the noodles with a fork to see if they are the right texture.  
If they need more time, I let them cook for 1 more minute, then test.
Repeat until the texture you would like.
One minute might seem tedious, but the second you boil your noodles too long, you have mush.
And no one likes mush.

Next, lets move on to flavor.
Before adding the noodles (yes, I'm jumping around on you) throw in a big handful of kosher salt to the boiling water.  
The starchy noodles will soak up the salt water and add a lot of flavor.
Also add a drizzle of olive oil.
This will add flavor to the noodles, make the sauce "stick" to the noodles better, but it will also not let the water boil over and create a huge mess.  

When your noodles are done, drain and rinse them in a colander/strainer.  Rinse with cold water, then place them directly back into the pan.  Place the pan back on the stove over a low heat.  Add your sauce and using a set of tongs, flip the noodles around, coating the noodles with sauce. 

Serve your noodles with pride!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Gluten Free Carrot Zucchini Cupcakes

Need a healthy treat?
Gluten Free Carrot Zucchini Cupcakes!

Still doing good at your New Year's Resolutions?
I am, and I hope these help! 
Everyone needs a little treat once in a while, and like the name implies there's carrots and zucchini packed into these moist cupcakes.  (Semi-healthy right!?!)
These little babies have a lot of texture and has a punch of citrus flavor thanks to the frosting.
I found the original recipe on Pinterest, made into bars.
We took these to a party, and I thought cupcakes would be easier to eat, especially for the kiddos.  I also only used half the oil (replaced with applesauce).
Here's to staying on track with your New Year's Goals!

Gluten Free Carrot Zucchini Cupcakes

3 eggs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup shredded zucchini (if you want to see the zucchini shreds leave the peel on, if not peel before shredding)
1 1/2 cups GF mix
2 t. xanthan gum
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, applesauce, honey and vanilla.  
Fold in the carrots and zucchini.
Add in the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir together until just combined.
Pour about 1/3 cups of batter into prepared cupcake cups.
Bake about 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack.
Frost with the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz package Cream Cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 t. lemon zest

Beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.  Add in lemon zest, beat until fluffy.
Frost cupcakes as desired.
Makes 1 dozen cupcakes.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Gluten Free Lentil Tacos

Starting off the New Year on a healthy foot?
This recipe is for you!
Lentil Tacos

The first time I made these delicious tacos we had this conversation at the dinner table:
 husband says "these tacos taste a little different, did you use hamburger?  They are good, just different".
"Haha," I said, "it's lentils!"

Lentils are a great food to add your diet.  
They are rich in iron and high in protein.  And the best part, low in calories and dirt-cheap.
They are a great meat replacement and are actually a staple in vegetarian cooking.

The issue that I was having when first experimenting with lentils is I couldn't find a good recipe that didn't taste "weird", "earthy" (not in a good way earthy, like granola, in an earthly way like dirt.), or ended up looking like someone threw-up all over dinner.
Sounds appetizing right.

Then I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest.
It sounded pretty good.  I decided to give them another try.
And I'm so glad I did.
The original method is to not mash/puree the lentils and then cook out the liquid.  I ran the lentils through the food processor to make them appear more and have the same texture as ground beef.  

And here's a time saving tip:
Instead of cooking the tortillas one at a time over the stove I placed 6 corn tortillas on a baking sheet.  I then sprinkled shredded cheddar cheese over the top and baked at 350 for about 10-15 minutes, until the cheese was melted and the edges looked crisp.  Not only delish but super fast too.
Or you can just cook the tortillas one at a time and sprinkle the cheese on with the rest of the toppings.

Gluten Free Lentil Tacos

2/3 cup chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
1 t. oil
2/3 cup lentils
2 t. chili powder
1 1/4 t. cumin
3/4 t. oregano
1 2/3 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth or water)
2/3 cup salsa
Corn tortillas
Shredded Lettuce
Chopped Tomato
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Cubed Avocado or guacamole
Sour Cream

Saute the onion and garlic in the oil in a pot.  When tender add the spices, lentils and chicken broth.  Boil about 25 minutes or until lentils are tender. 

Put lentil mixture in the food processor or blender.  Add the salsa and blend together.  
Place mixture back into pot and simmer until the liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally.

Serve with tortillas and desired toppings.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Trifle

If you have a little bit of this, and a little bit of that....
it's time for 

Now, as you can see from the picture, this isn't one of those nice layered desserts.
The peanut butter pudding just slides down into all the cracks left by the brownies and the peanut butter cups, which all mesh together as well.  
Every bite has surprise texture, you'll get a brownie, pudding, or a delightful bite of peanut butter cup.  
But I promise you, every bite has the blend of chocolate and peanut butter that will make you sing! 
It's that good.
And if you don't need it to be gluten free, just use your favorite brownie mix.

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Trifle

1 Gluten-Free Brownie Mix
1 pkg. peanut butter chips (found by the chocolate chips)
2 pkg. mini peanut butter cups 
3 1/2 cups cold milk
2 small pkg. instant vanilla pudding
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cartons Cool Whip

Prepare brownie batter according to package directions.  Before spreading into a 9x13 pan, stir in peanut butter chips.  Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack; cut into 1 inch pieces.
Cup peanut butter cups in half; set aside 1/4 for garnish.  (That's the really annoying part of making this trifle, but it's so worth it).  In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes or until soft-set.  Add peanut butter and mix well.  Fold in 1 carton of Cool Whip.
Place 1/3 of the brownies in the bottom of the trifle bowl; top with 1/4 of the cut peanut butter cups.  Spoon 1/3 of pudding mixture of the top.  Repeat layers twice.  Cover with Cool Whip and reserved peanut butter cups.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Gluten Free Texas Chili's cold outside!
Must be time for 

This is seriously the best chili.
In fact it's award-winning!
(Not by me.  Remember Shunae?  Yep, she's the one who shared with us the Little Cherry Cheesecakes...
Well, Shunae gave me the recipe, and she was the one who won the big award for Best Tasting Chili at our church chili-cookoff.  And that's sayin' somethin', if you know what I mean.)

The original recipe calls for 1 cube, yes an entire cube of butter.  I have "lightened" it and I think that it still tastes great.  So if you are feeling like living on the edge (yes, the edge of a heart attack) go ahead throw that whole cube in.  

So I hope you enjoy this spicy, chunky chili as much as we do.  It's a winter staple at our house.

Gluten Free Texas Chili

1 lb hamburger
1 medium onion, diced
1 16 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 16oz can chili beans (read ingredients to be sure it's GF, I found the Bush's brand to be great!)
1 green pepper, diced
2 16 oz cans diced tomatoes 
1 beef bullion cube
3 T. butter
1 T. cumin
1 T. chili powder
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper

Cook hamburger in a soup pot until no longer pink.  Drain off excess grease.  Place hamburger back in pot.
Combine all the other ingredients in the pot.  Cook over low heat for 1-2 hours stirring occasionally to keep from scorching.