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GF Harvest Oats

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I found myself craving oatmeal.  I mean, the cravings were so bad that I started dreaming about it, too!  I had been to afraid to try oats once I was diagnosed with celiac disease.  I didn’t trust that they could really be safe.  So, I did a good deal of research and came across the GF Harvest Company.  Honestly, it sounded too good to be true.  Of course I called them up to legitimize my cravings.  Not only did they kindly sent me samples of Steel Cut Oats, Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats, and Oatmeal Cookie Crisp Granola, but they also provided lots of useful information.  (They also carry gluten-free groats and gluten-free oat flour.)  I was overjoyed to have satisfied my craving, with the knowledge that these were gluten-free right down to the ground.

It turned out that Seaton Smith, the owner of this small, Celiac disease-family run company, was tickled pink to talk and tell me all about their oats while assuaging my fears and anxieties.  And, in 2013 they were even awarded the BBB Torch Awards for Ethics.  I learned so much about the processing of their oats and the scrutiny his oats go through to make sure there is no cross-contamination.  Here are a few things I learned and why I am now GF Harvest’s biggest fan:

To read more, click here . . .

This article can also be found on the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness’s Gluten-Free Hot Products Page

A Special Thanks goes out to my friend, Jessica Schaefer, who used these oats to make me special gf oatmeal cookies!

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Apple Crumble with GF Harvest Oats on top

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The Finished Ball

One day, not long after I had gone gluten-free, my grandma, Honey, called me, to tell me of a recipe she made that just so happens to also be gluten-free.  I couldn’t have been more thrilled to think of a dessert with peanut butter and chocolate all in one that had NO GLUTEN!!  And takes about 10 minutes to make and 10 to bake!

After a lot of playing with the basic recipe my Honey had given me, I perfected a relatively low sugar dessert.  The secret is the chocolate chips stashed in the middle of the ball.

The peanut butter we use just has roasted peanuts and nothing else added.  I have often found that certain peanut butters make me sick and then I wonder if they’ve been crossed processed.  In Philadelphia you can get Crazy Richards, which was actually made by a local Philadelphian who ground his own peanuts.  Roomer has it from a parent I know that Richard use to run a small in-home daycare in the city, all the while, making his own peanut butter.

If we’re looking for an organic one, we have found Santa Cruz makes an excellent one.

Gluten-Free Inside-Out Peanut Butter Balls

Serving Size: about 20 1″ balls

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

20130522-202617.jpgIngredients:

  • 1 cup of peanut butter – we use peanut butter that just has roasted peanuts and nothing else added
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • about 1/2 cup of chocolate chips – we use Enjoy Life

Supplies:

  • large mixing bowl
  • spatula
  • cookie sheet
  • parchment paper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325*F.
  2. In a bowl, mix egg, sugar, and peanut butter all together until there is a smooth consistency.
  3. Take a pinch in your hand and roll it into a 1″ ball.

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    Rolling Batter into a Ball

  4. Use your thumb to place a small whole in the middle of it.
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    Small Well in Center of Ball

     

  5. Fill well with a handful of chocolate chips.
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    Filling Well with Chocolate Chips

     

  6. Fold over edges of dough around chips.
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    Folding Dough Edges around Chips

     

  7. Roll dough back into a ball.
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    Dough Rolled Back into Ball with Chips inside

     

  8. Bake at 325*F for about 10-12 minutes.  I like mine soft, but if you prefer them crisper, then bake for longer.

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    Ready to Bake

  9. Eat!

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Loaf Cooked to Perfection!

After being gone for 10 days, I had these very sorry black bananas staring at me. Out of guilt for not wanting to waste them, I decided it was time to make banana bread. Then, I remember all my squash I roasted and froze in the freezer. I took it out to thaw, and decided to add it. These always come out amazing every time!! No one even knows they’re GF or DF for that matter.

There are TWO secrets to gluten-free cooking:

  1. Weigh your flour!! I like to use the conversion chart to convert regular recipes to those gluten-free.
  2. Always add extra moist ingredients to breads, whether it be more bananas or (cooked) winter squash or applesauce. It gives it the moisture that’s often lacking in gluten-free baking.

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Banana Squash Bread

(this recipe can also make muffins as well)

adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book 1996’s Banana Bread Recipe

Serving Size: 3 small loaf pans or 1 8x4x2-inch loaf pan

Preheat Oven to 350*F

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Finished Loaf

Ingredients:

  • about 1 1/4 gluten-free flour blend = 187.5 grams
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 egg (at room temperature)
  • 4 brown to black bananas (or about 1 cup. You can’t go wrong if you throw in more.)
  • 1 cup of roasted squash or pumpkin
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar (with super ripe bananas, I find that 1/2 cup is perfect)
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla *optional* – use Frontier Vanilla Flavor which has no alcohol
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate chips (Enjoy Life are free of top 8 allergens) or nuts *optional*

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Put parchment paper in the inside of the loaf or grease the loaf. If using muffin tins, grease the muffin tins or use muffin cups.

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    Combined Dry Ingredients

  3. In a medium mixing bowl combine and mix together
    all the dry ingredients:

    • GF flour blend
    • baking powder (GF)
    • baking soda
    • cinnamon
    • salt
  4. In another bowl, combine and whisk until blended:
    • egg
    • bananas
    • squash, pumpkin
    • sugar
    • cooking oil (I use safflower, because I prefer non-genetically modified oils).
    • vanilla
  5. Add moist mixture to the dry one and stir until just moistened and blended. Batter should be lumpy.
  6. Fold in optional ingredients.
  7. Divide batter equally among loaves and bake at 350*F for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. If using different sized pans, then see note at bottom of recipe.*

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    Bread Divided Between 3 Loaves

  8. Cool and eat. Store in refrigerator in airtight container.

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    3 Loaves Ready to Eat!

* Pan Size Baking Time

One 9x5x3-inch loaf pan 1-1 1/4 hours
One 8x4x2-inch loaf pan 50-60 minutes
Two 7 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 2-inch loaf pan 40-45 minutes
Six 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 x 1 1/2-inch loaf pan 30-35 minutes
Twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin cups 15-20 minutes

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Finished Matzah Brittle

When I was growing up, my mom always made us this delicious Matzah Brittle on Passover.  Ok, so now that I’m gluten-free and dairy-free, I begged her to make it for me again.  And my amazing mom did!!  It’s like heaven, melting in your mouth with a crunchy, sweet taste.  My only critique is that after a few days, the GF matzah doesn’t hold its crispness, but the taste is still there.  It can be used year-round on other kinds of crackers.  However, may family thinks there’s no better cracker on the market than using GF Matzah and/or GF Matzah Crackers from Yehudah.  The recipe I’m giving is a rough one since my mom never measures anything out.

The nice thing about Passover, is that anything that is certified Kosher for Passover (gebrocht), cannot contain any grain in it, which means soy is out, too.  This is a good time to stock up.

Matzah Brittle Recipe (GF/DF)

Serving Size: about 9 whole matzah, serving about 12 people
Prep/Cook Time: it takes about 10 minutes to make from start to finish

Ingredients:

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Only 3 Ingredients

  • Yehudah GF Matzah (about 9 squares)
  • about 1 cup of brown sugar (or more if you’d like)
  • about 1 stick of butter = 1/2 cup of butter (I used Earth’s Balance, Soy-free spread)
  • Optional Toppings: Chocolate Chips (I use Enjoy Life), Coconut Flakes, Crushed Nuts

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350*F.
  2. Using 2 baking sheets, spray with grease or rub your butter/butter substitute on them.  I prefer to put down parchment paper instead.

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    Mom Putting Brown Sugar & Butter in Microwave

  3. Melt the butter and brown sugar together in the microwave for about 30 sec – 1 min (depending on the power of your microwave), or over a double boiler at a medium heat.
  4. While mixture is melting, lay out matzah squares on baking sheets.
  5. When mixture is melted, stir it together very well.  (Melted, it shows about 2 cups on the liquid measurer).  The Earth’s Balance doesn’t blend as well as butter, so you really have to stir it to keep it from settling.

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    Melted Butter (or substitute) and Brown Sugar

  6. Using a spoon or ladle, pour mixture over matzah so that it is coating it.
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    Pouring Mixture Over Matzah

    20130401-131245.jpgBrittle Ready for the Oven


  7. If adding toppings, add the toppings of your choice on top of the matzah and mixture.
  8. Bake in over for 6 minutes at 350*F.
  9. Let cool, and then break into piece.
  10. Store in airtight container.
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Matzah Brittle


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Spinach Muffins

I was inspired by a friend, Elana, several years ago to find more creative ways to make vegetables for my little eater who was probably about 1.5 then. The name makes it sound a good deal more playful and interesting to a toddler. This recipe has inspired me to create others similar and for no other reason than it is soo simple and literally takes less than 5 minutes to mix all the ingredients.  I have used it as an appetizer.  It tastes just like a crustless Spanikopita.

Gluten-Free Spinach Muffins

Serving Size: about 24 mini-muffins

Ingredients:

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Spinach Muffin Ingredients

– 1 egg
– 1 box of 10 oz frozen spinach (or more) or any other veggie.  (If using fresh veggies, make sure you steam them for about 3 minutes first).
– 1/2 16 oz. container of cottage cheese (can substitute ricotta)
– 1 cup of shredded cheese (I use cheddar, but any kind is fine)
– 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
– 1/2 tsp pepper or to taste

Supplies:

– mini-muffin tin (you can use a bigger one, but I don’t know how many it will make)
– cooking spray
– mixing spoon
– bowl
– spatula

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Grease muffin pan REALLY well.  Because there is cheese in this, it sticks.  I’ve tried using muffin liners, but the cheese sticks to those, too, and makes them difficult to eat.
3. Mix all the above ingredients together.  (I often don’t measure and just eyeball everything).
4. Spoon batter into muffin tins.
5. Cook for about 20-25 minutes, until the edges start to lightly brown.

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Fresh Out-of-the-Oven Spinach Muffins

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