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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.

    20130522-202624.jpg

    Rolling Batter into a Ball

  4. Use your thumb to place a small whole in the middle of it.
    20130522-202648.jpg

    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.
    20130522-202630.jpg

    Folding Dough Edges around Chips

     

  7. Roll dough back into a ball.
    20130522-202654.jpg

    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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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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A Slice of the Swiss Chard Artichoke Pie

I was trying to think of something clever to do with my swiss chard, because I’m trying to eat up everything in my refrigerator before heading to visit family for Passover.  So, I came up with this Gluten-Free Swiss Chard and Artichoke Pie using the Chebe dough.

Swiss Chard and Artichoke Pie

adapted from Martha Stewart’s Swiss Chard Pie

Serving Size: 6-8 people, assuming no one is having seconds

Ingredients for the Pie Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced (any kind will do)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, stems cut into small dice and leaves torn (I just used one bunch)
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • dash of red-pepper flakes (or more to taste.  I was afraid my daughter wouldn’t eat it if it was spicier.)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated hard cheese (I used a blend of parmeasan and romano)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (I just squeezed in half a lemon and since I have a bunch of Meyer lemons, I used one of those.)
  • 1 large separated into yolk and white

Ingredients for Pie Crust using Chebe All-Purpose Bread Mix:

  • 1 box of chebe all-purpose bread mix
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 2 TBSP of olive oil
  • 3 TBSP water (and a little extra if dry)
  • NOTE: I DO NOT use cheese in the crust.

Supplies:

  • Rolling pin
  • pot for boiling
  • pan for sauteing
  • wooden spoon for stirring
  • parchment paper

Directions for Filling:

  1. Preheat over to 375*F.
  2. Over high heat, bring chard leaves and stems to a boil in a pot of water.  When it reaches a boil, simmer for just a few minutes until they’re wilted.
  3. While the chard is boiling, in another pan, saute onions and garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat until onions soften.  About 2 minutes or so.  I like to cook mine a little longer so some caramelize.
  4. Remove chard from water and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.  Add to saute pan along with the artichokes and chili pepper flakes.
  5. Saute until everything is warmed through, about 3 minutes or so.
  6. Remove from heat and add to pan cheese, egg yolk, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.  (You could do this separately in another bowl, but I thought, why dirty another dish!!)

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    Chard Mixture with all Ingredients Mixed In

  7. Grease pie plate well.  I just rubbed olive oil on the bottom of it.
  8. With your pie dough, split it in half and roll out 1/2 between 2 pieces of parchment paper.  (See instructions below).  Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and place pie plate upside down over the crust.  Together, flip the pie plate and the crust over.  Then slowly remove the parchment paper.

    photo 1

    Rolled out Dough

  9. Place the chard mixture on top of the pie crust.
  10. Then, roll out the other 1/2 of the pie crust.  Remove the top parchment sheet, and carefully turn it over and place it on top of the pie.
  11. Pinch the top and bottom crust together as best as you can.
  12. Use the egg white mixed with 1 tsp of water.  Brush on top of the pie.  (I forgot to do this, but it’s why mine is not shiny).
  13. Cut at least 4 vent holes in the top of the pie.

    photo 2

    Sides Pinched, Holes Made

  14. Bake for about 30 minutes.  (Confession. . . I wasn’t really paying attention to how long I cooked it.  I just kept checking on it.  So, if you make this, let me know how long you cooked it for.  I just needed the crust to be cooked through.)

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    Cooked Swiss Chard – Artichoke Pie

Directions for Pie Crust:

  1. Mix all wet items in bowl – eggs, oil, and water.  I use a fork for the whole crust until I “knead” my hands 🙂
  2. Add the dry mixture, and continue to use the fork, pushing it down and scraping it across the liquid until it gets clumpy.
  3. At this clumpy point, I stick my hands in and keep kneading it until it is super smooth.  If done right, it should not be sticky at all.  It only gets sticky when too much water is added, so err on the side of caution.  If after about 2-3 minutes of kneading, it is not coming together, add just a tiny bit more water, but do no use as much as a tablespoon.
  4. Split the dough in half, and put one half between 2 pieces of parchment paper.  Roll out until it is a bit wider in diameter than your pie plate, because you want it to come up the sides.
  5. Slowly removed the top parchment paper and put the greased pie plate upside down, over it.  Together, flip them over.
  6. Do the same process in #4 for your 2nd half of the dough.
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Inside of DELICIOUS Chard and Artichoke Pie

It was truly amazing, and my daughter ate the whole thing!!!  You can also try to make this as little appetizers, by making it in individual muffin tins.

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Blueberry Dutch Pancake

So, the way this recipe came about wast this . . . our friends were coming in town and we and another local couple decided we would host them for brunch.  My local friends decided to make frittatas, and I decided I would make some kind of baked good.   Then, our out-of-towner friends had a change of plans and couldn’t make it.  Our local friends and I decided we should still get together.

Since we weren’t going to be at my house and pancakes were way too time consuming, I came up with the dutch pancake and maple and brown sugar oatmeal using my oats from GF Harvest.  (If you want to see how I made blueberries and cream oatmeal, then click here.) I think I made everything in about 30 minutes.

This was indeed a great decision.  Since I’m dairy-free right now, I thought about making it full of dairy and just not eating it, afraid it would come out kind of gross, but that was NOT the case.  It was amazing and we had none left after feeding 4 adults and 3 kids!!

Berry Dutch Pancakes

gluten free, soy free, dairy free

Serving size: 8-10 (2 pie plates or 13×9 pyrex dish)

I doubled my recipe, so if you want to halve it, it will fit into 1 pyrex pie dish or cast iron skillet.

Ingredients:

23131-FR-Vanilla

Frontier Vanilla Flavor

1-2 tbsp butter – I used earth’s balance
2 cup milk – 1 cup rice milk & 1 cup coconut milk* (see directions for this below)
4 eggs
1 1/3 c. flour = 166.67 g of gf flour or less than 1 1/3 cup of flour
2 tbsp sweetener – 1 tbsp sugar + 1 tbsp maple syrup (grade b)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract (I make my own, but the safest GF kind is frontier vanilla flavor.)
1 tbsp of powdered sugar (I just put my sugar in the coffee grinder to get powdered sugar)
1 large handful of berries (Any kind will do.  I used blueberries, because that’s what I had on hand.)

Pancake Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400*F.
  2. Place butter in pyrex dish and place in oven.
  3. While butter is melting, whisk together milk, eggs, sugar/maple syrup, salt.  Then slowly add in flour.
  4. Remove dish from oven and pour in batter.
  5. Sprinkle batter with berries.  (So, I accidentally forgot this step and just threw them on after they came out of the oven.)
  6. Bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Remove and sprinkle powdered sugar on top.
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GF Brunch with Friends

Coconut Milk Ingredients:

Native-Forest-Organic-Coconut-Milk-043182002080

Coconut Milk

1 Can of coconut milk1/2 can of water

Coconut Milk Directions:

1. Pour coconut milk from can into container with lid (so that you can shake it).
2. Add 1/2 can of water to the canned milk.
3. Shake the 2 together.

If you want to make a drink out of it, add honey to taste.  It’s delicious and refreshing!

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