Friday, October 4, 2013

Gluten Free Lemon Bars

This recipe is fan update to the original lemon bar recipe from my orange Betty Crocker cookbook, (circa 1979).  It was a simple substitution of gluten free flours for the all purpose wheat flour.  These are not sugar free in any way, but I can only give up so much...

Gluten Free Lemon Bars

Begin the lemon bars preheating oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl mix: (I used food processor)
40g coconut flour +100g GF flour containing xanthum gum 
(or  1 cup high quality gluten free flour containing xanthm gum. )
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
until it holds together. Press mixture into an 8x8 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

While the cookie base is baking beat
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Pour over hot crust. Bake about 25 minutes longer or just until no imprint remains when touched lightly in center. Cool, cut in squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Mom's Peach Cobbler

I grew up in a farm family. My father and grandfather farmed several hundred acres of peach and apple orchards.  My mom made peach everything... from frozen peach mouse to peach barbecue sauce and peach muffins (my personal favorite!) But the one thing that showed up most often was peach cobbler.  Here is my mom's recipe, as published in The Richwood Cookbook, one of those small-town, spiral-bound cookbooks containing some of the best recipes ever!

Peach Cobbler
5 cups peaches
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons instant tapioca (usually found with the pudding and Jello at the store)
2 1/2 cups biscuit mix
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons oil or melted butter
1 egg and milk to measure 1/2 cup

In a sauce pan, bring peaches,  1 c. sugar anad tapioca to a boil.  Pour into a 9" square pan.
In a bowl, combine biscuit mix, 3 tablespoons of sugar, oil and egg-milk mixture and mix until blended.  Top the hot fruit with 9 large spoonfuls of batter.  Bake at 375 degrees F.  for about 20 minutes until biscuit are golden brown and fruit is bubbly.

Note:  The 5 cups peaches, 1 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of tapioca can be prepared and frozen for winter use.  To use, remove from freezer to thaw. When thawed, proceed as directed above.

Recipe courtesy of Pat Young.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Brown Sugar Pound Cake

This is an old family favorite (from the days we didn't care how much butter and sugar a recipe contained)  my mother used to make for bake sales.  She would bake it in loaf pans and have one to take to the sale and one to keep at home.   Because of the amount of butter and sugar, I now reserve it for special occasions or to take to church events or dinners since it serves easily.  It needs no frosting!

Bround Sugar Pound Cake

  • 1 ½ cups butter
  • 1 pound brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  
Grease and flour two 9x5” loaf pans or one Bundt pan. 
Mix dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
Mix bilk and vanilla together in a measuring cup.
In the mixing bowl cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until the mixture is smooth.  Blend in about 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time, alternating with the milk/vanilla mixture.  Begin and end with flour.  This helps to preserve the air bubbles you have just carefully beaten into your butter and eggs and helps to make a cake with a more  delicate texture.  
Spoon into prepared pan(s) and bake four about 1 hour.  Bundt pans sometimes take a bit longer.  The edges should be well-browned and a toothpick should come out clean when testing the cake.  
Cool cake in pans for about 15 minutes.  Turn out onto a rack or cake plate and allow to cool completely before cutting.  

This is a good make-ahead cake, because it always seems to taste better the day after it’s baked!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Four Ingredient Nutella Cookies

I still don't get how nut butter and eggs make cookies that taste like they were made with wheat flour, but I am glad that the combination works!  I found a recipe for Nutella cookies here, but I was afraid they would be too sweet, so here is my interpretation of the recipe.  Never one to make just a few cookies, I also doubled the amount of nut butter and adjusted the eggs to make 5 1/2 dozen cookies.  It is always good to have something gluten-free and chocolate in the freezer!

  • 1 1/2 cups Nutella
  • 1/2 cup Sun Butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Beat the first three ingredients till smooth and silky.  This will take some work,  I used my Kitchen Aid.  (Gluten free has not yet healed the arthritic fingers!)
Stir in the nuts. 
Drop by teaspoonsful (smallest sized Pamapered Chef cookie scoop) onto parchment lined cookie tray.  Place no more than 12 per tray since the spread.
Bake 9-11 minutes at 350 degrees F.  If you bake two or more trays at one time, switch their position in the oven part way through the baking time.
Cool on wire racks, Remove from parchment when they are cool.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Home Made Granola

Since I developed an allergy to cinnamon, finding a good pre-made granola became difficult.  So I started making my own.  Below is my basic recipe suited to my tastes, but granola is something very flexible that can be made to suit your family and their dietary needs. I also find myself adjusting it to whatever I have on hand.  For instance, today I had no sesame seeds or sunflower kernels, so I used slivered almonds, chopped pecans and flax meal.  I don't think you can go wrong adding ingredients!

Crunch Granola

1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup olive oil, coconut oil or butter or a combination of any
2/3 cup packed brown sugar 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup salted sunflower kernels

In a small saucepan, combine honey, oil and brown sugar; cook and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat; add vanilla.
In a large bowl, combine the next five ingredients. Add honey mixture, stirring until evenly coated. Spread onto two ungreased baking pans. Bake at 300° for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Bake a little longer if you like it more toasty.. Cool, stirring occasionally. Store in an airtight container. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Gluten Free Pseudo-Starbucks Lemon Loaf

I was going to try the Starbucks Lemon Loaf by just substituting GF flour, but I couldn't resist messing about with the recipe.  One thing I am slowly learning is that almond flour is almost always a nice addition to a white rice flour based blend.  I have found it gives a little more body to the batter and the texture is more like I want baked goods to be.  

Here is my rendition of Lemon Loaf

1½ cups (210 g.) Mr. Ritt’s Gluten Free Flour alternative (or other blend that contains xanthum gum)
¼ cup (40 g.) almond flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs, room temp
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 packets of True Lemon (crystallized lemon juice that gives intense flavor.)
    or 2 teaspoons of lemon extract
⅓ cup lemon juice
½ cup melted butter
zest of one lemon

Glaze (TOTALLY optional.   It’s is good without it!)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
½ teaspoon lemon extract
Whisk ingredients to combine.

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease three 3x5” mini loaf pans.  Dust with almond flour.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
3. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, coconut oil, butter, vanilla extract, True lemon, lemon zest  and lemon juice with a mixer until blended.
4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and blend until smooth and batter thickens a bit.
5. Pour into three loaf pans and bake for 45-50  minutes the loaf is springy when touched. I don’t know that the toothpick test works for gluten free recipes.   Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 minutes before removing it from the pan. 

If you want to use the glaze pour it on while the loaf is cooling and cool in pan. I can’t couch for how that turns out.  I did not try it.  I think it has enough sugar without the glaze.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Everyone Needs a Little Help Now and Then

This Kitchen Cheat Sheet is brilliant!

Print it out and post them or put them in a handy binder. It just may save a phone call to your Kitchen helpline (aka MOM).

Kitchen Cheat Sheets

Monday, March 18, 2013

Gluten Free Shower Treats

We recently held a bridal shower for my youngest daughter, and not only did I want to enjoy the food at the shower, I also knew that there were guests coming that needed gluten-free options.  The menu included quiche (with and without a crust), spinach salad, chicken salad, the requisite bridal shower cake with pretty pink roses and the following gluten free options:

Peanut butter cookies
I used about 2/3 extra crunchy pb and 1/3 sun butter to cut the sweetness factor.  These cookies are amazing because, given the recipe, it doesn't seem like they should turn into cookies.  But these taste like standard peanut butter cookies and are great for those moments that you feel kind of deprived because you are eating gluten free.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookies
Recipes from Gluten Free on a Shoe String are consistently good, but she does rely heavily on rice flour blends. That said, I have tried a few of her recipes using "Mr Ritt's Gluten Free Flour Alternative" (which is also based on rice flour) and found them good. I used mini chips in this recipe to distribute the chips a bit more evenly.

Oatmeal Muffins

These oatmeal muffins are from my favorite recipe, and the only change was to use the flour alternative.   It was so nice to find a recipe that I love was easy to make gluten free!

The shower was a lovely event and EVERYONE got to enjoy the food!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Menu Planning... again.

I know that I have written about menu planning in the past.  I looked back and it was just about 1 year ago... More than 300 meals later, I am still struggling with accommodating the various tastes and diet needs of the family living here now... the need for lower calories for the 50-somethings, the need for high-calorie for the over-80, the diverse tastes  of the 20-somethings and the need for gluten-free options.  In just a short time I can add, toddlers and preschoolers to that list too when the Uganda family returns to the US for a time.

So here we are, needing to eat this week, needing to shop efficiently and use my time wisely in preparations.  Menu planning still meets all those needs and I know the week goes much more smoothly when I have a plan!  

Here is this week's plan (main dishes) - If I come across any amazing recipes for the things on the plan I will post them later.

Monday - Chicken-Broccoli Pasta (rice for the gluten free)

Tuesday - Potato soup, wheat bread (or gluten-free biscuits)

Wednesday - Pineapple chicken and rice

Thursday- Roast beef in the crockpot

Friday - Take Out Pizza for everyone who can eat it or who shows up for dinner

Saturday - Options from the freezer

Sunday - Spare ribs/pulled pork, chips and other assorted munchies for the Super Bowl game.

Here's hoping that these ideas spark some creativity for you as you make a plan and work your plan. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Spanish Rice & Quinoa

We love Spanish Rice at our house.  Over the years my recipe has evolved and the newest version is gluten-free. (In the past I had added a can of cream of something soup and that is now off limits. Replacing the ground beef of the past with quinoa is another change I have made recently.)  I am never sure how spicy to make it since tastes vary greatly here, but tonight I hit a nice balance, receiving positive comments from the husband who doesn’t like too much spice AND the future son-in-law who can’t ever have too much spice! 

Here is my best guess at the recipe that is measured by  a “bit of this and a bit of that.”  You can adjust to your tastes. It is a large recipe, but we like the leftovers!!

  • 3 cups long-grain rice
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 – 1 ½  cups chopped onion
  • ½ - 1 chopped red or yellow pepper
  • 1 44fl oz. container V-8 juice with water added to make 8 cups.
  • 1 tablespoon beef base
  • 1 tsp. Ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp. celery flakes
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley or cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • grated Mexican blend cheese

Sauté onions and peppers until tender.  Add rice to the sauté pan and cook till light golden brown, stirring often to prevent burning.  Stir in V-8 juice, beef base and herbs.  Stir in rinsed quinoa.  Transfer to a baking dish that holds about 4 quarts.
Cover tightly with foil and bake at 400° for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Serve in bowls topped with grated Mexican blend cheese.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Transitioning to Gluten Free

In an effort to tame the beasts of arthritis and fibromyalgia, I  took the advice of a friendly pharmacist and went gluten-free... mostly.  2013 is my year to be hard-core about it.  Thanks to a very thoughtful Christmas gift from a friend, I am on my way to stocking the gluten-free ingredients I need and plan to begin a serious study of gluten-free baking.

What I have missed most, besides pizza, is the little breads that often accompany a meal at our house.  Today, since soup was on the menu I took my bag of Mr. Ritt's Gluten Free Flour Alternative and turned to my favorite muffin recipe.  I am posting it below with the gluten-free alternatives in parentheses.  The muffins were light and very, very close to their original texture and taste.  I am delighted!

Oatmeal Muffins
From the Orange Betty Crocker Cookbook
Makes 12 muffins
Oven temp: 400 ° (425°)

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk soured with 1 tablespoon vinegar or 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 1 cup quick oats or 1 1/4 cup rolled oats  (Process 1 cup GF oats in the food processor until they resemble quick oats)
  • 1 cup flour (1 cup or 140g. GF flour substitute; I used Mr. Ritt's.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon b aking soda

Preheat oven to 400 °. Grease bottoms of 12 standard muffin cups (2 ¾ inches in diameter) or spray with cooking spray. Beat egg well. Stir in soured milk and oil, Mix in remaining ingredients just until flour is moistened. Batter should be lumpy.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 mminutes or until golden brown. Let stand in pan 3-5 (5-10 minutes) minutes. Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.