Living without gluten, casein, soy, eggs and peanuts. Living with ASD and ADHD. Life is good!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

GFCF Herbed Crackers

This is another recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens (the New Baking Book, which I love!). I was surprised at how easy these crackers were to make. Next time I'll double the recipe, because they go really fast!

1 cup GF Flour Blend (I used this one)
3/4 tsp. rubbed sage
1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

3 tbsp. rice milk

2 tbsp. olive oil

*3 tbsp. fresh snipped parsley, if desired

*2 tbsp. finely chopped green onion

kosher salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift together the dry ingredients and place in a food processor. Add the rice milk and the oil (and parsley and green onion, if desired) and pulse till combined. Form the dough into a ball and place on a piece of lightly floured wax paper.

Flatten dough into a rectangle. Roll dough to 1/16 inch thick. Trim uneven edges and prick dough all over with a fork. Cut into rectangles with a knife or cut into shapes with a small cookie cutter. Transfer crackers to an ungreased baking sheet. Lightly spray crackers with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until crackers just start to brown and are firm to the touch. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

*Adding parsley to the crackers will give your crackers pretty green specks.

Best Ever Biscuits

I've adapted this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. I used a multi-grain flour blend, and the quinoa flour in the blend gave the biscuits a nice savory taste. I served these with Beef Stew with Sweet Potatos and Apricots. Leftovers would be good split, toasted and stuffed with egg and ham for breakfast in the morning.

2 cups GF flour blend (I used this one)
1 tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup palm shortening
2/3 cup rice milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, set aside.

Sift together the flour through the baking soda. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center, add rice milk all at once and stir with a fork until just moistened.

Turn dough out onto a piece of lightly floured wax paper. Pat the dough into a rectangle 1/2 inch thick. Cut dough with a floured biscuit cutter or cut with a knife into squares. Place biscuits 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake about 10 minutes, or until the bottoms of the biscuits are lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.

Beef Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Apricots

1 pound beef stew meat, fat trimmed, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tbsp. rice flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (2 medium)
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. dried parsley
pinch ground allspice
pinch ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, to taste
2 cups beef broth
8 large dried apricots, quartered

Stir together the rice flour, salt and pepper. Place in a large ziplock bag. Add the beef cubes, close the bag, and shake to coat. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the beef and brown on all sides. Remove the beef to a crock pot. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low 6 - 8 hours or until the beef is tender. Discard bay leaf and adjust seasonings to taste.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cranberry Sauce with Apples

Making your own cranberry sauce is so easy and fast, and it tastes great. This is a Penzey's recipe,which I've halved (and it still makes plenty). Homemade cranberry sauce is good with not only turkey, but chicken and pork, crackers, or plain by the spoonful.

2 cups fresh cranberries, rinsed
1 large tart apple, peeled, cored and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. minced orange peel

Pour the juice and sugar into a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring the juice and sugar to a boil. Add the cranberries, apple and orange peel.

Return to a boil and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring often. The cranberries will pop and the sauce will thicken nicely. Store in the refrigerator.

GFCF Corn Bread

This recipe is adapted from Better Homes and Gardens. Call me crazy for thinking corn bread is pretty, but this corn bread really is nice to look at, and even nicer to eat.

1 cup GF flour blend (I used this one)
3/4 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 beaten eggs
1 cup rice milk
1/4 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9 inch round baking pan with cooking spray, set aside.

Sift together the flour through the salt, set aside.

Combine the eggs through the oil. Add egg mixture all at once to the dry mixture and stir until just moistened. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake about 20 minutes, or until golden.

Friday, November 21, 2008

GFCF Apple Pie

Apple pie holds a special place in my memory as what spurred me into the kitchen in earnest. My uncle brought this beautiful apple pie to Thanksgiving one year when I was 13 years old. It was the most fantastic pie we'd ever laid our eyes on...piled high full of apples, the crust was golden and perfect, and I swear I could hear angels singing "aaaahhhhh!" over this pie. It was gorgeous. But when it was served, it tasted fermented. Not bad, but like too much of it would get you drunk. It was a little bit of a letdown...such a pretty pie, it didn't taste as good as it looked. And right then, I determined that I would make my pies bigger, stuffed full of more apples, more beautiful, and taste so good it'd knock the socks off of anyone. And I did. Year after year, apple pie was the pride and joy of my Thanksgiving offerings. Of course I branched out from apple pie, and what I create in the kitchen remains a source of great satisfaction (though I tend to be a better baker than a cook).

So fast forward 20 years later, when my kitchen is (still relatively new to being) gluten and casein free. I've had good success with this new reality, and I've conquered the GFCF pie crust to my satisfaction. But I had some trepidation about apple pie. Could I get it as stuffed full of apples as before? Would the crust behave, or would it crack and sink and fall apart into the apple filling? Would it be flaky and fabulous, or just so-so? What would become of my pride and joy apple pie, the hallmark of my culinary conquests? Okay, I'm going a little overboard here, but only slightly. I really was worried about apple pie for Thanksgiving this year. I took a chance on a new flour blend for the pie crust (High Protein Blend) and halved the amount of apples I'd usually put in a pie, just in case the crust was cranky. The pastry handled well, and it looked nice going into the oven. Coming out of the oven, the crust had cracked and separated all the way around the edges of the pie, and it had hugged the apples in an odd sort of way. It was not perfect looking, but it was not horrendous looking either.

It browned nicely and the edges of the crust did not burn. But really, the true test is in the tasting. And...the crust was flaky. It was not gritty, it was not gummy. I could not believe how flaky the crust turned out to was perfect. Totally perfect. It might not look as beautiful as I wanted it to look, but it tasted fabulous. I'm SO happy. Next time, I'll use twice as many apples!

6 - 8 large tart apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (use more apples, if you dare)
2 tbsp. lemon juice

1/3 cup white sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

3 tbsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. allspice

1 egg white, beaten until frothy
cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling

pastry for 2 crust pie

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out half the pie pastry and line the pie plate with the pastry. Set aside.

Toss the apples with the lemon juice. Combine the sugars through the allspice with a fork and mix well. Toss the sugar mixture with the apples. Carefully place the apples in the pie plate, mounding apples in the middle of the pie.

Roll out the top crust and place on top of the apple filling. Trim the edges and flute. Brush the egg wash over the top of the pie and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Cut slits in the top of the pie for the steam to vent through.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn the heat to 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the crust is evenly brown and golden (if the crust does not look like it's getting golden enough by 20 minutes at 350 degrees, increase the heat to 375 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes). Remove from oven to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Baked Chicken with Crispy Potato Chip Crust

Tom's aunt made this for dinner and gave me the recipe some years ago - yes it really does use potato chips, and yes the end result is extra crunchy and really good! I modified the original recipe just a little bit to suit my needs.

1/4 cup olive oil
4 large cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 tsp. dried basil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

4 ounces potato chips, crushed
1/2 cup GF breadcrumbs
2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, set aside.

Combine the olive oil through the basil, blend well. Coat chicken thickly with this mixture and let marinate for half an hour.

In a shallow dish, combine the crushed potato chips through the pepper, tossing well. Coat the chicken with the potato chip mixture and set on baking sheet. Bake until the topping is crisp and the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

GFCF Chocolate Mousse Tart with Shortbread Crust

A friend recently shared a shortbread tart crust recipe with me, and I thought a chocolate filling would compliment it well. The crust reminds me of Pecan Sandies. It does not have much flavor on it's own, but it's good with the chocolate filling. I've added vanilla extract to the recipe posted here - although I didn't use vanilla extract in the crust I made this weekend, I think the crust will benefit with the addition. I've adapted the chocolate filling from a recipe found in Eating Well. There is enough mousse to fill the crust and two custard cups, which greatly pleased the girls.

Shortbread Crust
1 1/2 cups rice flour
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup walnut meal or almond meal
1/4 cup coconut oil or palm shortening
1 tsp. vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Chocolate Mousse Filling
1 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1 tbsp. water
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 large egg yolks
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
3 ounces casein free bittersweet chocolate chips
2 egg whites
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar

Prepare the crust
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until the dough sticks together and forms a ball. The dough should not be very sticky, but feel easy to knead.

Place the dough in a 9 inch tart pan. Spread evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan with your fingers (you will not need to use all the dough). Prick the bottom with a fork and bake about 15 minutes or until the edges are beginning to brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Prepare the Filling
Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small bowl. Stir and let stand to thicken. Meanwhile, heat coconut milk in a medium saucepan until steaming but not boiling. Remove from heat while you whisk together the egg yolks, 2 tbsp. sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of the hot coconut milk into the egg yolk mixture. Then whisk the egg yolk mixture into the rest of the coconut milk in the saucepan and return to the heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 1 minute (do not boil). Remove from the heat. Whisk in the chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Whisk in the softened gelatin and set aside. (If the gelatin is too thick, soften in the microwave for a couple of seconds.)

Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl on medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to high and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the egg white mixture until well blended. Spread the filling evenly into the crust. Chill uncovered until set, about 1 hour. Serve with strawberries or mint leaves as a garnish, if desired.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Pumpkin Butter Bread

I stumbled across a recipe for pumpkin butter bread here while searching for interesting ways to use up pumpkin butter. This is an excellent recipe and the bread tastes even better sliced with some pumpkin butter spread on top.

1/3 cup palm shortening

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup pumpkin butter (or other fruit butter such as apple or pear)

1/3 cup water

1 2/3 cups GF flour blend (I used
this one)
1 tsp. xanthan gum

1 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup walnut meal, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.

Cream sugar and shortening together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the pumpkin butter and water and mix well.

Sift together the flour through the baking powder. Add to the wet mixture and beat until well combined. Fold in the walnut meal, if desired. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Irish Whiskey Cake

I love making this cake every autumn. It smells great, and it's not too sweet. Everyone loves it. I've adapted this recipe from the Irish Heritage Cookbook by Margaret M. Johnson. And happily, I can safely say that Scotch and Irish Whiskey are safe (gluten free!).

1/2 cup dried currants
1 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup palm shortening
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups GF flour blend (I used this one)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. cloves
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup walnut meal
1/4 cup Irish Whiskey (I use Jameson's)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8 inch cake pans and line the bottom with rounds of waxed paper, set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine the currants and the water. Bring to a boil and then simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, or until plump. Drain and reserve the liquid. Let cool.

In a large bowl, cream the shortening, and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the applesauce and the egg and beat well. Stir in 3/4 cup of the reserved currant liquid and the whiskey. Sift together the flour through salt and add to the wet ingredients, beating until well combined. Fold in the currants and the walnut meal.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake about 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the layers comes out clean. Remove from pans to a wire rack to cool, peeling off the wax paper. Cool completely before frosting.

Irish Whiskey Frosting
1/4 cup palm shortening
2 tbsp. coconut cream*
3+ cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup Irish Whiskey

Beat together the shortening, coconut cream and powdered sugar. Add the whiskey in a steady stream and beat until smooth. Add more powdered sugar as necessary until frosting consistency is reached.

*To get coconut cream, open a can of coconut milk and skim the cream off the top.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Leek and Bacon Quiche

This is my favorite quiche recipe. The original recipe, by Cooking Light, has no cheese in it, so it's a great candidate for gluten and casein free version of quiche. If you make it with a no roll pie crust recipe, it takes less than an hour to prepare, bake and serve. I served this quiche with a salad, Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins and Sugar Cookies for a light lunch.

1 recipe
No Roll Pie Crust
6 - 8 slices bacon

3 large leeks, white and pale green parts only

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

6 eggs

2/3 cup rice milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare your pie crust and bake it for about 10 minutes, or until the edge is lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Lay on paper towels, keeping the bacon fat in the skillet (or drain the bacon fat and add 2 tbsp. olive oil to the pan). While the bacon is cooking, split the leeks in half lengthwise and wash them. Thinly slice the leeks, then add them to the skillet. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and toss. Cover and cook the leeks on low heat for about 20 minutes, or until they are soft, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Chop the bacon and place on the bottom of the pre-baked pie crust. Arrange leek mixture over the bacon. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, pepper and rice milk. Pour over the leeks in the pie crust. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until the quiche is puffed and golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

No Roll Pie Crust

This is a Penzey's recipe (made gluten and casein free, of course). It's a great pie crust for savory pies, like quiche. It's fast, easy, and tastes good too. I make this pie crust with an all purpose rice flour blend, which I like - it makes the crust slightly crisp, which works well with a quiche. This pie crust recipe makes plenty for a deep dish pie.

1 1/2 cups GF flour blend (I used this one)
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup canola oil
3 tbsp. rice milk

In your pie plate, whisk together the flour through the salt. Add the oil and the milk and blend well - the mix will be a little crumbly, but it should stick together when you press it with your fingers (add a little more rice milk if the mixture seems too crumbly). Press the mixture evenly with your fingers onto the bottom of the pie plate and up the sides. Flute with the tines of a fork, if desired.