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August 4, 2013 / Car

get well soon smoothie

Today I developed my own “get well soon smoothie” since i have been fighting a cold/sore throat for several days. This smoothie really helped me feel better, so I hope it helps you too!

Ingredients:

6-8 ice cubes
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 green banana
1/4 – 1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 tsp salt
a dash of cayenne pepper

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until the ice is broken up and blended with the rest of the ingredients. You can start with the smaller number of ice cubes and the lesser amount of coconut milk if you want the smoothie thicker and then increase the amounts to thin it down if you desire.

 

 

Enjoy! and Get Well Soon!

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June 25, 2013 / Car

cake mix cookies

This is the easiest cookie recipe you will ever find. It is not exactly inexpensive, but if you are crunched for time or resources, these are prefect. They taste amazing, and you can get whatever flavor you want! Provided you can find a gf cake mix in that flavor. ūüôā

Ingredients:

1 gluten free cake mix of your choice
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup oil

 

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease baking sheet.

Combine ingredients in a bowl.

Drop by spoonfuls into the baking sheet and slightly flatten with your fingers.

Bake 10-12 minutes.

Let cool a couple minutes, then remove from pan to finish cooling before serving.

 

Here are some variations posted by Just Love Mom.

White Cake Mix with:
lemon extract and lemon zest dusted with icing sugar
or white chocolate chips and chopped nuts
or chocolate chips and topped with a Hershey’s Kiss
or orange zest and Allspice (and maybe raisins)
or a swirl of raspberry jam
Chocolate Cake Mix with:
peanuts and toffee chips
or peanut butter chips
or chocolate chips and then dipped in melted chocolate
or a hand full of dried cranberries and a hand full of slivered almonds.
June 25, 2013 / Car

oatmeal breakfast bars

This is another great base recipe for a variety breakfast bars. Just adding a fruit or a type nuts or both will bring a whole new experience to the table. It is also amazing without any added ingredients!

 

Main ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats
4-6 tbsp packed brown sugar
1/3 oat flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil (or butter or vegetable oil)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

 

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add wet ingredients until just combined.

Let the mixture set 5-10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 8×8 baking dish.

When oven is preheated, pour the batter into the baking dish, making sure it spreads evenly.

Bake 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the bars completely cool before cutting and serving. This is a great recipe to make the night before, leave out on the counter to cool overnight, and serve for breakfast!

 

Additional options:

Pecan Oatmeal Breakfast Bars – Add 1 cup slivered or finely chopped pecans to the dry ingredients

Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Bars – Add 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries to the wet ingredients

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bars – Add 3 mashed banans to the wet ingredients

Apple Oatmeal Breakfast Bars – Add about 3/4 cup diced apple to the wet ingredients, about 2 small apples

Fruit and Nut Oatmeal Breakfast Bars – Nut options: Add 1 cup finely chopped almonds, pecans, or walnuts to dry ingredients. OR Add 1 cup of a combination of nuts.
Fruit options: Add 3/4 cup mixed dried fruit to dry ingredients. OR Add 1/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 1 1/2 mashed bananas, and 1/3 cup diced apple to the wet ingredients.

June 25, 2013 / Car

baked hash browns

Ingredients:

8 large potatoes, about 4.5 lbs – i didn’t peel mine, but you can if you want to
2 large onions, peeled & quartered
7-8 eggs
1/2 cup potato starch
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup parsley
4 tbsp canola oil

 

Preheat oven to 350. Pour 2 tbsp oil in the bottom of a 9×13 glass baking dish. Brush up the sides and set in oven for 5 minutes.

Using a food processor with a grater wheel, grate potatoes and onions together. This helps keep the potatoes white. Pour potato/onion mixture into a colander and squeeze out remaining liquid.

Beat eggs, potato starch, salt, black pepper, parsley, and 1 tbsp oil in a separate bowl. Add to potato/onion mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.

Remove the hot dish from the oven and pour mixture in. Sprinkle final tbsp oil over the top.

Bake on 350 for 1 hour, or until the top is golden brown.

Let cool at least 15 minutes before cutting into squares.

 

Note: This recipe can be made several hours ahead of time. It is easy to reheat and even tastes good cold! I like to make a pan of this and keep in in the fridge. Then in the morning, my husband and I will take out a portion, fry it in a skillet with eggs for breakfast. It’s super quick and easy since the hash-browns are already cooked!

June 2, 2013 / Car

applesauce

Ingredients:

3lb apples
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch nutmeg
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Chop up apples in cubes by hand or in a food processor.

2. Add all ingredients to a pot. Bring to a boit over a high heat. Then cover and reduce to low heat. Simmer 20 minutes, or until the apples have softened.

3. Stir frequently. Add water if needed.

4. Mash with a potato masher or blend in the blender for a smoother consistency.

 

Makes about 8 servings.

June 1, 2013 / Car

banana oat pancakes

These pancakes are mine and my husbands favorite Saturday morning breakfast. We eat them almost every week. They are delicious hot or cold, with or without syrup.

Ingredientes:

2 bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 eggs
1 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

 

Beat together wet ingredients in a medium size bowl.

Add dry ingredients. Stir until dry ingredients are  combined. Do not over-mix.

Let the batter sit 10 minutes.

Heat a skillet over medium-low heat with just enough oil to grease the bottom of the pan.

Once the pan is hot, drop about 1/4 cup batter in and flatten it out with a spoon. The batter will be too thick to spread out on it’s own.

When the edges of the pancakes are brown, carefully flip to the other side and cook until golden brown on both sides.

Adjust the heat as needed and add oil to the pan between batches.

Makes about 8 pancakes.

 

This recipe is taken from Cookie and Kate, with a few changes of my own.

May 29, 2013 / Car

butterfinger bars

Bars:
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup butter
4 cups oats

Combine ingredients. Press into 9×13 pan. Bake 15 minutes @ 350 degrees. Let cool.

Topping:
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup peanut butter

Combine sugar, cocoa and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and let boil for 1 minute. Add peanut putter and vanilla. stir until peanut butter is combined. Let cool a little before pouring over bars.

Place in the freezer until hard.

May 24, 2013 / Car

onion rings

This recipe is adapted from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. And they are easy to make and taste simply amazing! You will definitely not want to share.

onion rings

1 medium onion, very thinly sliced
4 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup tapioca starch (or potato starch)
1/4 cup oat flour (or rice flour)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon paprika
2-3 cups vegetable oil for frying

Toss sliced onions, garlic salt, and pepper in a large bowl to completely coat the onions in seasonings. Pour the buttermilk over it all. Make sure the onions are submerged. Let this sit for 2 hours.

Combine the starches, flour, garlic salt and paprika.

Dredge the buttermilk-soaked onions in the flour, flipping them over and over to make sure that everything is coated. Shake off the excess and lay these on a plate.

Set a deep pot on medium-high heat. Pour in the canola oil and let it heat up to a rolling boil.

Drop the onion rings in a few at a time, turning to brown all over. When they are nice golden brown, take them out and let them drain on paper towels.

Yield: 2 servings

May 23, 2013 / Car

a basic muffin

This muffin recipe is a huge favorite. Mostly because it is so versatile. The core recipe is so basic that any number of things can be added to make almost any muffin you wish.

Main ingredients:

2/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups flour blend*
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted, or applesauce

1. Grease your muffin pan, or line with paper baking cups.
This recipe makes about 12 standard size muffins.
Note: I do not preheat my oven at the point, I will explain why later.

2. Combine: milk & cider vinegar in a small bowl. Let stand about 10 minutes.
You can use pretty much any type of milk you wish; rice, almond, buttermilk, etc.
If you decide to use buttermilk, add a teaspoon of baking soda to the dry ingredients mixture.

3. Combine: flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, & salt in a medium bowl.

4. Add milk mixture, egg, vanilla, & butter to the flour mixture. Stir until just moistened. Batter should look thick but not lumpy.

5. Let stand 10-15 minutes.
In my experience, the end result is better when the mixture has been allowed to stand before going into the oven. The flours and starches seem to combine better and make a fluffier, less crumbly result.

6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. While the oven is preheating, fill each muffin cup about half full with batter.

8. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.

9. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly brown.

10. Remove muffins from pan to cool completely.

~~~

OK. That’s the basics. Here are the options that I have come up with so far.

Surprise muffins: Spoon about 1 tablespoon batter into each muffin cup. Drop 1 teaspoon of jam, jelly, or preserves into the center of the batter in each cup. Top with the remaining batter.

Blueberry muffins: Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries to the dry ingredients mixture. Don’t use cinnamon in this recipe. Sprinkle the tops with plain sugar.

Snaking Surprise muffins (as found in the 3 in 1 Gluten-Free Cookbook ): Add 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries to the dry ingredients mixture. Spoon about 1 tablespoon batter into each muffin cup. Drop 1 teaspoon of jam, jelly, or preserves into the center of the batter in each cup. Top with the remaining batter.
~~~
*for this recipe I have used store-bought gf flour blends, and I have made my own. I really haven’t come across a preference. This recipe tastes pretty amazing no matter what.

When I make my own, I use equal parts of whatever I have in my cupboard. Just remember you need at least 1 cup of a flour for every cup of a starch.

Right now I have oat flour, tapioca starch and cornstarch in my cupboard. So if I made a flour blend I would use 2-3 cups oat flour, 1 cup tapioca starch, & 1 cup cornstarch.

Here is a flour blend that I have used a like a lot:
1 cup rice flour (white, brown or sweet)
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1 cup cornstarch or potato starch
1 cup almond flour
May 8, 2013 / Car

gluten-free on a budget

I don’t know about you, but my budget is tight. And gluten-free flours and ingredients are usually quite pricy! When I first went gluten-free, I was very intimidated, by the complexity of gluten-free baking and also by the prices! I thought I would never eat bread, cakes, cookies, or any other baked goods ever again. Thankfully, I had an awesome grandma who provided my first flours and baking mixes so I could start experimenting, but I was still skeptical. Now that I’m married and have my own kitchen and a husband to feed, I was determined to figure out this gluten-free baking thing and not break the bank. So, instead of sticking to a specific flour blend and other ‘must-have’ items, I will do my best to show you how you can cook and bake gluten-free with whatever is in your cupboard.

There are a few things that I always try to keep stocked in my cupboard.

  1. flour – right now i have oat flour. This is, actually, my favorite type of gf flour. It has a smoother texture and mimics a whole wheat flavor. I have also used brown rice flour, sweet rice flour, sorghum flour, almond flour and several gf flour mixes (which i will talk more about later).
  2. starch – right now i have corn starch. I actually prefer tapioca starch(or flour) because it helps baked goods to be light and fluffy instead of the dense and gritty gf baked goods tend to be known for. I have also used potato starch.
  3. baking soda
  4. baking powder
  5. apple cider vinegar
  6. honey
  7. mashed potato flakes (for yeast breads)
  8. yeast

You probably noticed that xanthan gum is not on my list. I don’t typically use it anymore. When I first started baking gluten-free, I did. Everything that I made came out with a slightly gritty texture. I didn’t like that. So I started trying different flours and starches to get rid of that texture, but nothing seemed to work until i finally left out the xanthan gum. That was it! Now, when I use a recipe that calls for xanthan gum, I just leave it out. I don’t substitute anything or add anything; I just leave it out. So far, it seems to work just fine!

The exception is baking mixes. Since almost all of them include xanthan gum, I don’t like to rely heavily on them. That’s the main reason. I’ve also found that some of the combinations don’t always taste that good in everything or the texture is off. But, that being said, I do find them helpful, especially when I’m in a hurry or don’t have the money to buy a bunch of flours and starches.

Here are the ones I have used:

 

Speaking of recipes, something that I have found helpful are cookbooks. There are two that I like, in particular, for gf baking: You Won’t Believe It’s Gluten-Free by Robyn Ryberg and 3 in 1 Gluten-Free Cookbook by the Editors of Favorite Brand Name. I do need to put out a disclaimer . . . although I do love my cookbooks, I use them more like a guideline. Of course, I always use whatever happens to be in my cupboard, and I usually fudge things to get the taste or texture that I think would be best. So, this blog is kind of my challenge to myself to keep track of the changes I make and how I do things, in order to record the actual recipe that I make for you! I will give you the original recipe and where I got it from; and then explain what changes I made and why I made them (if I have a reason…)!

Please comment with questions or thoughts or your stories on how the recipes turned out for you! I’m always looking for new variations or ideas! And thanks for letting me share my journey with you!