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Cheezy Crisps & Grammy Crisps

Are you always on the hunt for the perfect gluten-free cracker?  Finding them too bland, tasting like cardboard, or flimsy?  Well, I definitely am!  Every time I go to the grocery store, I’m always scanning the cracker aisle, looking for a suitable gluten-free cracker to replace all those buttery, flaky, gluten ones, and yet, I’ve been hard pressed to find a replacement . . . until today!

So, you can imagine my surprise when I ventured to try Crunchmaster’s certified gluten-free Cheezy Crisps and Grammy Crisps and was wowed to the max!

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 Stephanie Gill, Pam Vassilikos, and of course my daughter who were instrumental in the reviewing of the crackers!

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Candied Nuts

Candied Nuts

So I had eaten at my dear friends’ house over Passover and had the most amazing Oriental Cabbage Salad.  Rebecca’s secret ingredient was candied nuts.  I decided I was going to replicate her dish, but first I had to candy my nuts.  (I’ll post the oriental cabbage later).

There are two ways to candy nuts.  I did mine in the oven, but you can also just put sugar and nuts in a saute pan and saute them.  Once the sugar has melted and is well coated, you then spread the nut mixture on a baking sheet with parchment paper to cool and then break it into pieces.

However, this was the recipe I found years ago and adapted it slightly.  I have no idea where it came from, so I can’t take credit for it.  I love to mix different kinds of nuts together.  I think this recipe can double as the makings of a granola bar.  Let me know what you come up with!  I also like to just eat it as snack.  I have tried it substituting honey for sugar.  It’s just as tasty, but doesn’t quite have the crispness or the crunch I was looking for.  If you try different things, let me know what you enjoyed!

Candied Nuts Recipe

Serving Size: 1 pound

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound nuts, crushed or halved
  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300*F (150*C).
  2. Lay parchment paper over a baking sheet.
  3. *If using whole nuts, crush prior to using.  Place in ziplock bag and smash with mallet.*  I of course didn’t have anything else when I was having a craving, so it’s what I did.

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    Crushing Nuts

  4. In a bowl, mix together sugar, salt and cinnamon;set aside.
  5. Beat egg white and water together just until frothy, not stiff.
  6. Add nuts to egg whites and stir until well coated.

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    Nuts Added to Egg White Mixture

  7. Add sugar mixture, mixing nuts until well coated.
  8. Spread evenly onto a foil-lined cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and separate pecans as they cool.
  10. Store in tightly closed container.
Candied Nuts

Candied Nuts

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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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Gluten-Free Bagel Chips Recipe

I was inspired the other day when I was given a free sample of Udi’s Bagels.  I find them kind of dry and really not worth eating.  I do however think Sweet Note Bakery makes some of the best bagels I’ve tasted!!

Ok, so back to my story . . . I thought to myself, what better way to use these bagels than to make bagel chips. . .

Serving Size: 1 large bagel makes 6-8 large chips depending on how thinly you slice them.

Ingredients:

  • gluten-free bagels
  • olive oil
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • paprika

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250*F.  Since we only used 1 bagel, we chose the toaster oven to bake it in.
  2. Slice the bagel as evenly as possible so that they bake evenly.  I recommend a mandolin, but since I didn’t have one, hand slicing did the trick.
  3. Using a brush, lightly brush olive oil over the bagel slice.

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    Brushing the Olive Oil on

  4. Sprinkle garlic salt, pepper, and a dash of paprika over them.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until crisp.

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    Baking in the Toaster Oven

I apologize for no finished pictures!!  We were so excited to eat them that we forgot to take a picture until it was too late!

Let me know what kinds of delicious variations you have come up with!

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