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

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sweet Drop Biscuits with Strawberries (Gluten Free & Vegan)

This is my last week at home before going back to school full time. I was going to be a good doobie and spend all week on lesson plans but I ended up spending the past two days baking instead.  DH gave me raised eyebrows of disapproval when I 'fessed up, but I told him that sometimes one just needs to make a Double Chocolate Pie instead of lesson planning!  In the end he agreed around a mouthful of pie.  Since he ended up being so agreeable, I decided to make strawberry shortcake (adapted from Penzey's Back to School Catalog) this afternoon!

Sweet Drop Biscuits
1 1/2 cups All Purpose GF flour blend
2 tbsp. cinnamon sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup Earth Balance dairy free, soy free margarine
1/2 - 3/4 cup plain coconut milk
extra cinnamon sugar

Strawberry Topping
1 pound strawberries, washed, hulled and halved
1 - 2 tbsp. cinnamon sugar
So Delicious CocoWhip Topping, if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.

For the biscuits:  In a large bowl sift together the flour, cinnamon sugar, baking powder and salt.  Cut in the margarine with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles fine meal.  Add 1/2 cup of coconut milk and stir until you get a shaggy dough.  It should be wet but not soupy.  If it is too dry, add a little more milk.  Let the batter sit for a minute, then drop by large spoonfuls (about 1/4 cup each) 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.  You should get 8 biscuits.  Sprinkle with some extra cinnamon sugar if desired.  Bake 15 - 18 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

For the topping:  In a mixing bowl, toss the strawberries with the sugar.  Let sit until the strawberries become juicy.

To serve:  Split the biscuits carefully in half.  Arrange strawberry topping on the bottom half and top with remaining biscuit half.  Top all with a dollop of whipped topping and a strawberry.  Serve immediately.  

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Sourdough Sandwich Bread for the Bread Machine (Gluten Free & Vegan)

My summer is quickly drawing to a close, with full-time school duties starting in just over a week.  I can't believe how fast the time has flown!  I've been busy but not manic.  I've canned several chutneys, pickles and relishes for Christmas. The girls and I have been at the pool and we've seen a few movies (yes, one was Inside Out and yes, I cried my way through it).  Megan has been screened and accepted into the orthodontist training program that Anna is a part of, and now we have two girls receiving orthodontic treatment.  

One of the more exciting projects this summer was when DH's parents visited.  DH and his father turned my  IBC tote into a rain barrel.  I finally found someone local who would deliver a 275 gallon food grade tote, already cleaned and not expensive.  It sat in the back yard for three months, its monstrosity upsetting DH who knew he'd have to do something with it.  It only took them four days, but he and his dad repurposed it and it works very well!  The day after we set it in place, Tropical Storm Bill blew through and filled it up.  A couple of weeks after that we got a little more rain, and then  nothing.  We have emptied it watering our garden during these last hot weeks.  I hope it rains again soon - the plants like rainwater much better than city water.

 The IBC tote as it terrorized DH for months.

 The IBC tote after DH and his dad cleared bushes, laid a cement foundation and wrapped it in heavy black plastic as an algae deterrent.

 The overflow port, which thankfully does not leak!

 The tote in action during a rainstorm.  DH and his dad built a cedar screen for it, which I sanded, stained and shellacked.  It looks pretty, if I say so myself.

Another little summer project was making and feeding sourdough starter to use in my summer baking.  The girls love my sourdough bread more than any other and as it got too hot to use the oven, I started baking sourdough sandwich bread using my bread machine.  It only took a few tries to get it to where I like it, and that is the recipe I'll share with you here.  I use a T-Fal bread machine - if you have a different machine, you may have to play a bit with the ratios to get a loaf you like best.

Sourdough Sandwich Bread for the Bread Machine

1 1/2 cups fed sourdough starter
3 tbsp. olive, canola or grapeseed oil
1 cup warm water

2 cups All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend
2 tsp. xanthan gum
3 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. bread machine yeast

Pour the  sourdough starter, oil and warm water into the bread machine's bread pan.  In a separate bowl, sift together the flour through the yeast.  Pour the flour mixture onto the sourdough mixture.  Turn the bread machine on.  You will need to help the machine knead the batter - use a soft spatula, scraping the sides and the bottom.  Watch the mixture closely - if it is too dry, add more warm water a couple of tablespoons at a time.  The mixture should be a very thick batter at first, to the point of it looking too thick.  As it keeps kneading, the batter will get smoother and not as thick, so don't add too much water!  If by chance the batter is too thin, add a little more flour or a couple of tablespoons of flax meal to thicken it up.

After several minutes of kneading, the batter should look thick and smooth and it should mound only a little bit in the middle.  Close the cover and let the bread machine do its thing.  As it bakes the top should be domed and it should look like a nicely risen loaf of regular bread.  When the baking cycle is finished, remove the bread pan from the machine.  

Run a thin spatula between the loaf and the pan to help loosen it, then shake the loaf gently out of the pan onto a cooling rack.  The bread will smell fabulous and you will want to dig in right away but don't give in to temptation!  The bread needs to cool before slicing or you'll end up with gummy bread.  When cool, slice and enjoy!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Savory Green Pea Pancakes


I continue my quest to use several bags of "emergency flours".  Today's recipe features green pea flour.  Originally it was supposed to be emergency soup, but I like it much better as savory pancakes (inspiration found here).  I adore the versatality of savory pancakes - you can make them thin, slather them with margarine and roll them up, you can top them with a little cream cheese and lox, you can turn them into open-faced sandwich  melts, or you can turn them into little round sandwiches.  I love turning them into sandwiches with a variety of fillings (chicken or salmon salad is good) and thank goodness, the girls love them this way too.  

We like these savory pancakes best made with chicken broth but I sometimes I use V8 instead of broth- it makes the pancakes taste exactly like pea soup! 

Savory Green Pea Pancakes
1/4 cup plain unsweetened coconut milk yogurt
1 cup chicken broth, vegetable broth or V8
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup green pea flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat a cast iron griddle over medium heat.

In a small bowl whisk together the yogurt through the olive oil.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together the green pea flour, baking powder and salt.  Make a well in the center.  Pour the yogurt mixture into the well and stir until mostly smooth.  Let the batter sit a few minutes.

Drizzle a little olive oil onto the preheated griddle.  Pour the batter onto the skillet to form pancakes of the size you desire.  Cook until the edges are dry and little bubbles form over the surface of the pancakes - the bottoms should be golden brown.  Flip and cook on the other side and cook another minute until golden on that side as well.  Remove to a plate and let cool slightly before serving warm.