Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie- Parisian Apple Tartlet

So how in the world is June 9th already upon us? Time is moving so quickly, and I have very little of it this month... free time that is. That said I opted to do this recipe, even tho I knew I wasn't going to be able to make it gluten free. GASP... But knowing that I only will be free to do a couple of the TWD recipes this month, given my schedule, I had to make a go of it.

Jessica, of My Baking Heart, chose this ridiculously easy delicious treat. (*YES, I tried it .. don't judge, ok? 99.999% of the time I am so very disciplined about eating GF. But I had an "opps", as it just smelled so good! I know... someone with Celiacs disease should never eat gluten, luckily I can get away with a small cheat and not have any symptoms. Please don't mention it to my doc.. cool? thanks! ;-) ) I used Jazz apples which baked up wonderfully, perfectly tart and moist, along with the fall back of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry. (again, I am short on time so had to be done). This would be a terrific dish to serve at a dinner party, and even better with some vanilla ice cream. I loved it... Now all I gotta do is figure out how to make puff pastry gf and I will be set. Please visit Jessica's delightful blog for the recipe, you will not be disappointed!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie- Chipster Topped Brownies

This week's TWD was chosen by Beth at Supplicious. When I first read the choice I was thinking, wow two of my favorite things together... brownies and cookies! How could this go wrong?? Then I started reading the actual recipe, and realized... holy cow... this is a heart attack in a pan. 3 1/2 sticks of butter, are you kidding me?? good god.. eek!! Forgive me, you know I love my sweets... really I do, but I also would like to keep my arteries in tack... if you know what I mean.

I made my usual substitutes for the flour... 2 part Brown or white rice flour, then 1 part tapioca flour, 1 part potato starch and some added
xanthan gum. I also used semi- sweet chips for the cookies.. as it was what I had on hand. I only baked this for 55 minutes, and honestly I think it could have used an additional 15 more. It seemed to be TOO gooey, and undercooked. I can't believe I am about to say this... but this sweet was TOO rich for my taste. GASP!! (I know, try to not fall over.) It was good, but I think I like cookies and brownies separate and not together. However, it was certainly fun to give it a go & I am, of course, looking forward to trying more Dorie recipes in June! :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

I have a problem... when I get bored, I bake. Clearly a serious issue... but hey there are worse problems right?! ;-) I have been seeing several different versions of this muffin recipe all over the web, and had to give it a shot. I am a berry addict, and just am digging lemons big time lately. I of course, made this gluten free... with several substitutes ... yogurt instead of milk, egg beaters for eggs, extra lemon zest. These were very yummy, on the denser side for a muffin... but delightful regardless.


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour ( I used 1cup brown rice flour, and then split 3/4 with tapioca flour and potato starch.. with 1/2 tsp Xanthan gum)
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
1/2 cup Egg beaters (or 2 large eggs)
1/2 cup low fat yogurt ( I used Dannon Light and Fit Vanilla)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a muffin tray with baking spray then set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the blueberries. In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk, oil, lemon zest and the lemon juice. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture until blended; do not over mix. Spoon the batter into the muffin tray then top with additional blueberries and sprinkle raw sugar on each muffin.
Bake for about 20-23 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins stand in the pan for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer them to a rack to cool slightly. Serve warm slathered in butter. Enjoy.

**On a side note & totally "un-muffin" related... I had to post this photo of my basil that is readily growing. Isn't it gorgeous?? I can't tell you how good it smells, it is really taunting me.. I am just going to have to go home, pluck some of those yummy leaves tonight and whip up something delicious! Hooray for summer!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie- Fresh Mango Bread

After a month of chocolate packed recipes for Tuesdays with Dorie, this recipe was a very refreshing change! Fresh Mango Bread, chosen by Kelly of Baking with the Boys , was a perfect summer bread. I am a major sucker for fresh fruit and veggies at this time of year, but to be honest... I generally steer away from Mangos simply because they are SUCH a bear to cut. Love the taste, hate the mess.

For my gluten free substitutes, this week I used 1 1/2cups brown rice flour, 1/2 cup tapioca flour, 1/2 cup potato starch & a very generous teaspoon of xanthan gum. I left out the raisins (not a big fan) and used lemon zest instead of lime. I had to tent the bread after 1/2 an hour... as you can see the edges were already getting overcooked....ACK!! Next time I would add more cinnamon and ginger.... as I think it could have used a bit more spice.

This recipe really was splendid, and my coworkers devoured it in under an hour so I would call that a success. Thanks Kelly for a great choice! Check out her awesome blog... she also posted a lightened up version of the recipe which looks fab!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Cucumber Salad

This cucumber salad is another new favorite side of mine that I just had to share this morning. (forgive me, I can not for the life of me remember where I found this... from some beautiful blogger out there no doubt.. ) It is super easy and light. Not to mention, fresh veggies and fruit are just some of my favorite things right now...

2 large cucumber, 1 peeled & one unpeeled.. cut into chunks
1/3 to 1/2 of a medium red onion, diced fine, to taste
2 large tomatoes- I used some yummy yellow ones.

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon good tasting olive oil
2 teaspoons light agave nectar, or more to taste
A tiny pinch of sea salt, or to taste
Fresh ground pepper, to taste

In a large bowl combine the cut and sliced cucumbers with the diced onion and tomato.
Whisk the dressing and pour over salad. Gently toss to coat. Cover and chill at least an hour before serving.

Cannellini Bean Mash

Living gluten free can bring many challenges to ones diet. Among those (at least for me) is getting enough fiber in my diet since I can no longer eat wheat grains. One of my new favorite blogs The Nutrionista is a huge supporter of beans. Now I have never, ever in my life been a bean fan. Aside from a highly embarrassing incident (when I was 15 & working for a catering company) where I tripped and accidentally dumped a vat of baked beans on a very large man in a speedo @ a 4th of July pool party (true story... oy, you can't make this stuff up people) I hadn't had much exposure to them. (no pun intended.. ha)

So with some encouragement from Nutrionista, I jumped in.. gave this recipe a shot and now I am converted! WOAAAAAA.. I have been missing out, this is a fabulous side dish! A very similar consistency to mashed potatoes, but way more nutritious. Packed with protein and fiber, this is definitely one of my new favorite side dishes. It is terrific served hot or cold!

Cannellini Bean Mash
makes 4-6 Servings

*2 15oz cans Cannellini Beans
* half an onion, diced
* as much fresh basil as you would like (to taste) chopped
* two cloves of garlic, finely chopped or minced
* about 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese grated
* olive oil

* saute the onions in olive oil until they start to become translucent
* add garlic, basil and beans
* cook for about 5-10 minutes, until the beans are tender.
*transfer mixture to a bowl, mash beans and add Parmesan as you mash
* add salt and pepper to taste
*serve... works hot & cold!

Easy Brownies- a quick sugar fix

Do you ever have those days where sugar just speaks to you? You walk by the donuts in your office & they start calling you "PSST.. yea I'm talking to you.. come over here and eat me.. I have 900 calories and 300 grams of fat, but I taste really good". ha! Opps, um yea maybe that's a personal issue... But lets just say I have been a good girl all week, busted my butt at the gym every day, stuck to my healthy eating and darn it.. I was having a major sugar craving last night. And wouldn't you know, I had seen these on Tastespotting yesterday and happened to have all the ingredients that the recipe called for. It was fate, no? ;)

These brownies were a breeze to make, and very decadent! I made them gluten free of course, and used mini muffin pans. They were the perfect sweet to soothe my inner sugar beast, and comfort me as I cried my way thru the season finale of Greys Anatomy (good grief!!). So the next time you need a quick sugar fix... make these, you won't be sorry. :)

Best Brownies
All Recipes

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter*
1 cup sugar*
2 eggs*
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used 1/4c brown rice flour, 1/8c potato starch, 1/8 tapioca flour & 1/2tsp xanthan gum)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp butter, softened*
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan (or 10 cups of a muffin pan). In a large saucepan melt stick of butter. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat in cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Do not over cook. (20 minutes if you are using mini-muffin pans)

To make the frosting: Combine 3 tbsp butter, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Frost brownies while they are still warm.

Makes 16 brownies in 8 inch square pan or 24 individual brownies in mini muffin pans.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Attitude of Gratitude Award

Wow, so I have received my first blogging award.. how fun! Thank you Erin, you absolutely made my day last week and brought a huge smile to my face. (Sorry it has taken me so darn'd long to get this posted... my job is getting in the way of my blogging life. Hmph ;-) ) I have completely loved being part of the food blogging world and my adventures with the TWD group. Even in my moments of failure... I have learned so much & learned even more from my fellow bloggers!

Now this is a non-food related quote, but in the spirit of gratitude I thought I would post it. It is a quote from the movie Benjamin Buttons. About life... how absolutely spectacular it is, how we have so much opportunity to learn from others and that we should make the most of every moment. Now that is something to be truly grateful for!

My nominations, in no particular order:

Lynne @ Honeymuffin- not only is she one of my favorite cousins, but she has a great blog and is just as addicted to sweets as I am.
The Nutrionista- fabulous blog that covers health, nutrition and exercise.
Jessica @ Singleton in the Kitchen- a grad student who finds the time to tempt us with many yummy recipes.
Kim @ Scrumptious Photography- her photos are gorgeous and she keeps it real with always with posting nutrition data.
Linda @ Tender Crumb- always TWD blogger that I love to visit, beautiful photos and great recipes.
Pink Stripes- more beautiful photos and fabulous recipes. Wow there are so many talented bloggers out there!
Teanna @ Spork or Foon- Very fun creative recipes!
Mike @ Good Things About Living out West- a very creative TWD who always wows with his presentation.
Pamela @ Cookies with Boys- fabulous recipes!
Karina's Kitchen-Terrific gluten free and vegan recipes.

Your instructions are:
* put the logo on your blog or post
* nominate at least 10 blogs that show an an attitude of gratitude
* link to your nominees within your post
* comment on their blogs to let them know they've received this award
* share the love and link to this post and the person who nominated you for the award
* tell us how you've come to have an attitude of gratitude

I got tagged!

OK, I I’ve been tagged by Erin @ Gluten Free with a Purpose. Normally I am not into these things, but I am a tired girl this Monday morning at work... and am in full procrastination mode. So why not, right? Plus always fun to learn little snippets about your fellow bloggers. :)

#1 What is your current obsession?-summer salads, food blogs (per usual) and beautiful Spring weather!

#2 Which item of clothing do you wear most often? Well since I have to pull myself somewhat together for work everyday, the first thing I do when I get home in the evenings is put on some flip flops and comfy sweats!

#3- What’s for dinner? HMMM GOOD question! Any suggestions, I am searching for some inspiration today. :)

#4- What are you listening to? My CEO dictate some new marketing materials to our graphic designer in one ear, and in the other ear I have Jackopierce playing. They are a band I adored in college, and I saw them play live on Saturday night. They were terrific & it brought back sooo many fantastic memories of my days in Boulder. Couldn't have loved a time in my life more!

#5- Say something about the one who tagged you: Erin is always pointing out fun new gluten free products!

#6-Favorite vacation spot? Maui is always a favorite of mine, the ocean brings me peace or anyplace new.. I am ALWAYS up for a new adventure!

#7-What are you reading right now? Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist By Michael J Fox. His outlook on life is inspiring!

#8- Four words to describe yourself? fun, loyal, loving and loves to cook and bake! Wait was that more than four words?? Opps... maybe I should say "has trouble with directions" ;-)

#9-Guilty pleasure? LOST! Can't get enough of this damn show...

#10- First Spring thing to do? get out and enjoy life with good friends and family!

Tag, you’re it! I’m tagging Lynne @ Honeymuffin

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Beef & Peach Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

There were several days this week where the weather was just spectacular... 80 degree days, bright clear crisp blue skies that make the sprawling green lawns and budding trees look even greener. AHHHH it was just heavenly, and Spring Fever really kicked into high gear for me. Tis the season where I start "jonesin" for summer salads.

This salad was mentioned by one of my favorite new blogs, The Nutritionista. It is a recipe from Real Simple, and it was obscenely good. So good in fact, that my friend and I devoured it like wild animals. I can't wait to make it again!

I made a few adjustments of my own. It calls for watercress, which I love... but couldn't find the day I made it. So I used bibb lettuce and I also used flank steak instead of Roast Beef (it is leaner and I actually enjoy it more).

makes 4-6 servings

2 bunches of watercress, thick stems removed (or any type of lettuce you love)
2 cucumbers, roughly chopped
4 ripe peaches, cut into wedges
1 lb of flank steak- grilled to your liking and cubed
1/4 cup lime juice
1 1/2 tsp sugar
kosher salt and pepper
1 small close garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp finely grated ginger
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large shallots

- In a large bowl combine watercress, cucumbers, peaches and beef.
- Pour lime juice into a small bowl and whisk in the sugar & 1/2 tsp salt until dissolved. Add garlic, ginger and 1/4 tsp pepper. Slowly add oil in a steady stream whisking constantly until emulsified. Stir in Shallots.
-Transfer the salad to serving bowl or platter and drizzle vinaigrette over the top.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mushroom Almond Burgers

I stumbled upon this recipe in my trusty ole files, and not only did I have a wave of nostalgia, but my stomach actually growled. This is one of my all time favorite recipes! Originally written by a dear family friend. I have very fond memories of dinners at my friends house, during high school and her mom introducing me to my first homemade "veggie burger". I made a number of changes to make it a tad healthier & also out of my need to get more fiber full grains into my gluten free diet. (That is a tough one, but Quinoa is a great one that fits that bill... it is rich in protein and fiber! ) This is a fabulous recipe, uber healthy and light. They even freeze well too... :)

Almond, Mushroom Burgers -
*Adapted from Stephanie's Almond Burger recipe
-makes 10 medium size patties
3 cups cooked Quinoa
2 cups ground almonds
1/4 cup egg beaters
2 tbsp soy sauce
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup grated, low fat- skim mozzarella
1/2 cup rolled oats or instant oatmeal
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup pealed and chopped zucchini
fresh parsley, chopped (I used Basil as it was what I had on hand)
ground pepper to taste

In a bowl, combine cooked quinoa, mushrooms, zucchini, basil and almonds. In a blender or food processor, separately process egg, soy sauce, onion, cheese, oats and pepper. Pour blended mixture over quinoa mix. Shape mixture into patties, and cooked in skillet over medium heat until brown, about 5 minutes per side. (can be cooked in Pam or small amount of olive oil.)

Monday, April 27, 2009

No Bake Daiquiri Cheesecake

This was one of the recipes I made for the "Easter baking marathon". It is one of my Mom's best kept little secrets, in fact the recipe goes so far back it was actually typed on a typewriter (gasp.. he he). To make it gluten free, I used Pamela's Mini Gingersnaps and they were the perfect substitute. It is very light, and just downright amazing.... this is a family favorite with good reason.  Enjoy!:)

No Bake Daiquiri Cheesecake-
*serves 10-12

1 1/4 cups of Graham Cracker Crust (I used GF cookies...)
1/4 cup sugar
6 tbsp melted butter
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup rum -80 Proof
2 tsp grated lime peel
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/2 cup lime juice
4 beaten egg yolks
4 egg whites
2 8oz packages of cream cheese- cubed & softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream

Combine crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar & butter. Remove 2 tbsp crumbs & set aside. Press remaining crumbs in bottom of 9 inch spring form pan. Chill 45 minutes (I put it in the freezer). Meanwhile, in medium saucepan combine gelatin & 1/2 cup sugar. Stir in rum, citrus peels, lime juice and egg yolk. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly, till slightly thickened 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Beat in cream cheese till smooth. In separate bowl, beat egg whites till soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar beating till peaks are stiff. In another small bowl, whip cream till soft peaks... Fold egg white & whipped cream into gelatin mixture. Turn into crumb lined pan. Sprinkle reserved crumbs on side of the pan. Cover & chill till firm or overnight.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie- Chocolate Bread Pudding

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was chosen by Lauren of Upper East Side Chronicle. To be honest I have never been a bread or rice pudding fan. I think it is a texture issue, we all have our likes and dislikes and pudding (& jello) has never been mine. BUT I have never actually made bread pudding so I thought I would give this week a go.

It was very easy to make, I used gluten free rolls and made a third of the recipe in 2 ramekins. Sadly... this recipe did not change my mind. However, I did enjoy learning how to make it.. the baking process is always enjoyable for me. :) I also could not resist showing off my beautiful Orchid plant. After a wild weekend of weather in Denver.. (some areas got up to 22 inches of snow ..ACK!), spring has finally sprung here. I for one am very excited for some "spring fever" and beautiful weather! :) Despite the fact that this was not a favorite desert, I of course, am looking forward to more TWD adventures. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake

This weekend during my Easter holiday Bake-a-thon, an old friend appeared to me, one that I nearly had forgotten about. Who you ask?? My bundt pan... he he. See for some weird reason, I LOVE the shape of this pan... It is not like a cookie sheet, you don't use it all the time... but it is one of those that is just so fun to work with. Not to mention the word "bundt" just simply makes me giggle (there is a story behind that one, which I will leave up to your imagination.. but lets just say it comes from when I was a little girl and you can blame my brother... that's all i'm sayin.)

Anyways, I suddenly got a hankering to make some sort of bundt recipe. My dear cousin/friend, Lynne came to my rescue quickly with several MOUTH watering recipes that she had found on Foodgawker. This one in particular jumped out at me, I mean HOW can you possibly go wrong with cinnamon and sugar?? Um yea, this had to be a hit. Not to mention... several bloggers have been testing these on their beautiful blogs and all gave rave reviews. And I am happy to report it was RIDICULOUSLY good. OBSCENELY good!! So good in fact, that it is only 9am.. and I only have one little piece left at my desk at work. It has all been devoured happily by my coworkers... This one will with out question be repeated many times! Of course I made it Gluten free, which you would have never known. I will post the original recipe for you, and my GF adjustments next to it. Please make this asap, I promise you won't be sorry. ;)

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake-
from Dozen Flours

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup white sugar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 1/2 cups White rice flour, 1/2 cup potato starch, 1/2 cup tapioca flour & 1 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature (or 3/4 cup Egg Beaters)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature (I used low fat sour cream and it still was divine!)

1. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Mix together really well and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 325F. Using a spray product like Pam with Flour , generously spray a 9 inch Bundt pan, being careful to cover all the nooks and crannies, as well as the center tube. (Note: If you don't want to use Pam with Flour, you can just grease the pan with shortening.) Gently dust the entire inside of the pan with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. You should only need about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar, but you want to try and evenly coat the inside surface of the pan, including the tube. Save the remaining sugar and cinnamon mixture and set everything aside.

3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

4. Beat just the butter on medium speed for one full minute. Add the white sugar and mix for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and blade and add the brown sugar.Mix for 2 minutes until the mixture looks light brown and uniform in color. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each for 1 full minute. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream; beat well.

5. Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of the cinnamon sugar mixture over top the cake. Spread the rest of the batter into the pan and sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over the top. (If you run out of cinnamon sugar, you can mix just 1/4 cup of sugar + 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon together for the top of the cake. It should be more than enough.)

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

**The one thing I would change on this, is adding more of the cinnamon mixture to the center of the cake. I will be doing that the next round. :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie- Chocolate Amaretti Torte

After a weekend of MAD holiday baking.... (cookies for the kidos, bread, home-made ice cream and cheesecake.. phew..) I was just about to skip this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie. I was just exhausted and a bit baked out. Given the fact that this was "promised" to be a 15 minute prep recipe, with using only a food processor... and I happened to be at Starbucks yesterday afternoon with a coworker, saw some Amaretti and figured the baking gods had intervened!

This weeks recipe was chosen by Holly of Phe.mom.enon. This recipe was just as promised, super easy and fast.(it really did only take 15 minutes.. woot woot!) I can see why Dorie says she uses it as a base for hot fudge sundays... as it is very Brownie like. I halved the recipe and used a mini cake pan. I also skipped the glaze.. as I was just too darn'd tired. Regardless, it was delicious... and would be fabulous with some vanilla ice cream! Thanks Holly for a great choice... :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

French Bread- Attempt #1

My parents are having the whole family over for Easter this year... and when I say "whole" I mean 6 children, and 12 adults (can you say chaos??...but oh so much fun). More than likely there will be a few extra guests too... Out of all those people, only 2 of us eat gluten free and it can often be a bummer. Either we end up missing out on the yummy grub, or we end up cheating and sometimes that can leave one with a bit if a stomach ache... not exactly ideal! So.... I have made it my mission to find a french bread recipe that we can serve to everyone...one that won't be detectable as gluten free.Last night was my first test run, with a recipe I found on RecipeZaar (that got fabulous reviews). I did make a few tiny adjustments to the recipe. I only had regular active yeast on hand, so I heated my oven to 200 degrees, and turned it off when I was ready to let it rise... put the dough in there for an hour covered. It rose pretty well, but I think next time I will let it go 2 hours.This bread tasted just like the real thing, nice crispy crust & light/fluffy texture on the inside. I was very pleased... straight out of the oven it was just divine. Good this morning too! This is definitely in the running to be served at Easter Dinner this year, and will without question be repeated!

Gluten Free French Bread


2 cups rice flour (white)
1 cup tapioca flour
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons egg substitute (optional)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (heated to 110 degrees)
2 tablespoons fast rise yeast (I used active yeast and it worked well)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
3 egg whites, beaten slightly
1 teaspoon vinegar
melted butter, for brushing (optional)


-In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, place flours, xanthan gum, salt, and
egg replacer (if used).Blend with mixer on low.
-In a small bowl dissolve the sugar in the water, and add yeast.
-Wait until the mixture foams slightly, then blend into the dry ingredients.
- Add the butter, egg whites, and vinegar.Beat on high for 3 minutes.
-To form loaves, spoon dough onto greased and cornmeal-dusted cookie sheets in two long French-loaf shapes or spoon into special French-bread pans.
- Slash diagonally every few inches.If desired, brush with melted butter.
-Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 20 to 25 minutes. *if you use regular active yeast, let rise for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove from pan to cool.

** You will be happy to know, my little baker ego is feeling much recovered and better this morning. Happy I pulled my "baker skills" together after the TWD incident yesterday... he he ;-)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie- Coconut Butter Thins


Le sigh
is all I'm sayin this morning.... le sigh. My tried and true ready made Gluten free flour mix failed me this week, and it really was my fault. You see I have tried Pamela's before with several cookie recipes, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. But when I was mixing the dough for the Coconut Butter Thins for TWD this week, I had a feeling in my gut. It was saying "STEP AWAY FROM THE PAMELA'S CAROLYN"... ha.

What was the result?? Well the dough looked exactly like it was supposed too, but what often happens with Pamela's and cookies is MASSIVE, MASSIVE SPREADAGE. I checked on the cookies at 8 minutes, and what did I have??? ONE GIANT COOKIE... ha ha ha ha ha. I should have taken a picture, I wish I had... that way you all could be having a good laugh with me. (and I did have a really good giggle at myself) Live and learn right???

To see what they REALLY are supposed to look like, please visit Barefoot Kitchenwitch's rockin site. She takes fabulous pictures and will have the recipe for these cookies that everyone is raving about!

** I will be redeeming myself this week. When I bomb a recipe, it hurts my frail little baker ego... so I will have to save myself in some way. he he. I am actually on the hunt for a gluten free french bread recipe for Easter. If you have seen any, send em my way!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie- Cranberry Crumb Cake

Oh man, another great Tuesdays with Dorie this week that is going to force me to punish myself at the gym today, and tomorrow and the next day. ;) Sihan great choice this week with the Blueberry Crumb Cake! I decided to switch mine up a bit, I added Cranberries instead of Blueberries.... and baked them in a muffin pan for easy office distribution. The muffin version only required 35 minutes of baking time.For the gluten free flour substitution I used 1 cup sweet white rice flour, 1/2 cup Tapioca flour, 1/2 cup Potato Starch and 1 tsp of Xanthan gum. It worked flawlessly,and had the perfect "crumb cake texture". Although, the crumble sunk into the muffins, you can see it still had a nice layer.The cranberries were just delicious and tangy with a slight hint of lemon, and theses got rave reviews with my coworkers. Already gone! Please visit Sihan's adorable blog for the recipe.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shepherd's Pie

My brother and sister in law just had their 3rd baby a few weeks ago... she is just too cute for words, I managed to still some time with her today and holding her was just heaven! Before her birth, my sister in law asked me to make a meal for them to freeze and have on hand. She sent a few recipes my way and requested the Shepherd's Pie. I have not had it before, really wasn't all to sure how it would turn out... and to be honest I was sort of expecting it to be um ..whats the word, oh yea...it is... um yuk. So when I made it yesterday for them, I was sure to save myself a portion to have for dinner tonight. I am now kicking myself that I didn't save more! It was absolutely fabulous... I will, without question, be whipping this one up again.
Shepherd's Pie-

1 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled, quartered and rinsed
1/2 c. reserved cooking water from potatoes or milk
2 tbsp butter
Ground white pepper
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 c. carrot, chopped
1/2 c. celery, chopped
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 Tbsp. flour
3/4 c. beef or vegetable stock
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. rosemary, crushed
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2. c frozen peas
2 tbsp butter

Put potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until tender. Drain and mash, then add 1/2 cup reserved cooking water or milk, butter, and salt and pepper to taste and stir/mash until smooth. (I imagine you could also use store-bought mashed potatoes instead of making your own.)
While potatoes are cooking, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery; cook until softened. Add meat, cook until thoroughly done. Add flour; cook 2-3 minutes. Add stock, spices and peas. Reduce heat to low and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Place meat mixture in 9-in pie plate or 8 x 8 baking dish. Spread the mashed potatoes over the top. Cut the 2 T. of butter into small pieces and scatter across the top. Cover and freeze.
Take out of freezer and thaw in refrigerator 24-36 hours before you plan to eat. Preheat the over to 400. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Gluten-free adaption: Use gluten-free all-purpose flour in place of regular flour.
Dairy-free adaption: Use cooking water or unsweetened soy milk for potatoes. Use non-dairy butter in place of regular butter.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gluten Free Bagels

Last weekend I took my first cooking class ever! It was a class on Gluten Free Bread. I had been looking forward to it, and I had a wicked cold all weekend long and was pretty miserable... but when Sunday afternoon rolled around, you bet I was going to drag myself to this class! (You see, I really have never had great success with making my own GF bread. It always has turned out TOO dense, or never fully risen.. blah blah blah.) Anyways, it I got a few great recipes from this class, so it was worth it! 
This bagel recipe was unbelievably easy!! Who knew bagels were such a breeze to make? They stay fresh for about 4 days, but I just pop mine straight into the freezer. I highly recommend this recipe to anyone, the texture is terrific and not heavy at all. I made mine with sesame, poppy seeds and did a cinnamon sugar version. 

*tip- to speed up the rising process, I heat my oven to 200 degrees, then turned the heat off... and put my bagels in the warm oven to rise. It worked great!

Gluten Free Bagels- 
by Katy from Generous Servings


1c warm water (105-110 degrees)
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp active dry yeast
Cornmeal for sprinkling
1c brown rice flour
1c sorghum flour
2/3c tapioca starch
2/3c potato starch
2/3c cornstarch
1/4c ground flax meal
1/4c almond meal
1 tbsp Xanthan gum
1 tsp guar gum
3 tsp salt, divided
2 tbsp, plus 1 tsp sugar divided
1/4c shortening (or unsalted butter) melted in 1/2c Hot water
4 egg whites

1. Combine warm water, 1 tsp of sugar and yeast. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, until foamy.
2.Grease one or two flat cookie sheets. Sprinkle cornmeal on them.
3. Place the flours, starches, meals, gums, 2 teaspoons salt, and 2 tbsp sugar into bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook (or paddle works well too), mix the dry ingredients together just until blended.
4.Add the shortening (melted in hot water) to the dry ingredients and mix again for about 15 seconds.
5. Add the egg whites and mix until blended.
6. Add the warm yeast-water mixture and blend until well mixed. This should take about 3 minutes. The dough will be quite sticky. There is a good chance you will need to add some extra potato starch to the mixture, 1 tbsp at a time.
7. Rub some shortening or oil your hands. Take a ping pong size ball of dough out of the mixing bowl (use a scoop for consistency) and roll into a ball, then press it between your two hands to make it flatter, and finally insert your pointer finger into the middle of it to make a hole in the center of the bagel.
8. Place the bagel on the greased cookie sheet, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 45 to 60 minutes.
9 Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring a large stockpot of water with teaspoon of sugar and 1 tsp of salt to boil.
10. Quickly slip 2 to 4 bagels in the boiling water, depending on how many will fit. After 30 seconds, flip them over. Remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and place on rack to cool. Repeat with remaining bagels. 
11. Return bagels to the cookie sheet and add any toppings you might like. (sesame seeds, poppy seeds, herbs, salt, cheese etc)
12. Place them in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and place bagels on cooling rack.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie- French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze

What a great choice this week of the French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze, by Liliana of My Cookbook Addiction. This cake was a breeze to put together, and just delicious! I decided to depart from my regular gluten free flour mix ,Pamela's, and try some other grains to convert this cake. (I know gettin crazy, huh? ha!) I substituted 1/2 cup sweet white rice flour, 1/4 cup potato starch & 1/4 tapioca flour (as well as 1 tsp of Xanthan gum) for all purpose flour.
It worked like a charm, and had the perfect consistency of regular cake! I was thrilled... Because I made mini- loafs it only needed to be baked for 35 minutes. I had my doubts about using the lemon marmalade, but it was very tasty. This cake would be a terrific addition to a brunch....and will most definitely be repeat. Thanks, Liliana for a wonderful choice! For the recipe please visit Liliana's site.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A late Tuesday with Dorie- Caramel Crunch Bars

Opps I am a bit late on TWD this week, but hey I have had a pretty legitimate excuse!! I have been here for the past week. Just got home on the red eye yesterday....
We had spent some time at the beach, & we did some of this..
Saw so many of these... and they are just as majestic & magical in person as you would expect.
And just had a wonderful vacation & it goes went way to quickly... Sigh, back to the grind today. But just had to share a few pictures with my TWD entry, to explain why I am so late. Hopefully you can forgive my error. ;) I made the Caramel Crunch Bars before I left. They were just wonderful! Once again I used Pamela's GF Flour Mix and it worked like a charm. Great choice!
I even wrapped them up as gifts for some girlfriends I was meeting for brunch that morning. They were a hit! This is a recipe worth repeating.. please see Whitney's great site. :)