Thursday, August 27, 2009

Raspberry Pancakes & Maple Syrup

Our raspberry plants finally produced fruit this year and we have done a few picks so far. I’m surprised I wound up with any because my boy kept eating what I was picking. Thankfully he filled up and I had some left over. We love to use raspberries in pancakes, the tart and sweet flavors mix wonderfully and hubby requested that be our dinner after the first pick.

I’ve tried a lot of pancake recipes and by far these are the best. I use Gluten Free Mama’s Pancake Mix and I just don’t think there’s a better option out there. The texture and flavor are superb and I don’t think a gluten eater could tell the difference. Follow the directions on the back then add the raspberries to your batter and let it sit for about 5 minutes before cooking on your griddle. Add some homemade maple syrup and you’ll be in heaven.

Maple Syrup

I stick with the basic maple syrup recipe because it just works and we all love it. I also tend to triple the recipe so I’m not making syrup so often, just store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

2 C raw sugar
1 C water
1 t maple flavoring

Bring the water to a boil and add the sugar stirring constantly until it dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil again, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat and add the maple flavoring. Pour into your container and serve hot!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

I joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) this summer and I love it. For starters it has us eating veggies I’ve never tried before and I’m eating a lot more of the ones I have had. It’s like a present every week opening the bag to see what I got. My last share had a huge zucchini in it and since hubby isn’t a fan of zucchini I never buy it. I wasn’t sure what to do with it but I’m out of muffins and since my kids love muffins the conclusion became very easy. I modified my banana bread recipe a bit to make these and overall I’m happy with them. I think they need a little more of a spice but I’m not sure what to put in there, maybe cardamom or ginger? I froze half of the shredded zucchini because I had a lot so maybe I’ll try to kick it up a bit with my next batch.

Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

3 C GF flour (I used Gluten Free Mama’s Almond flour)
½ T xanthan gum
3 t cinnamon
3 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
3 eggs
¾ C butter, softened
1 2/3 C brown sugar, packed
2 C shredded zucchini
2 t vanilla
1 C chocolate chips, raisins, and/or walnuts

In a bowl sift the GF flour, xanthan gum, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a mixing bowl cream the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time then add in the vanilla mixing thoroughly. Mix in the shredded zucchini then add the flour mixture in 3 batches mixing thoroughly after each batch. Add the chocolate chips (I used mini chocolate chips) or raisins. You could also add the walnuts here but that’s not for me, bleh! Put the batter into a muffin pan and bake at 325 F for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. I also made a batch of mini-muffins and baked them for 25 minutes. This recipe gave me 17 regular sized muffins and 24 mini-muffins. If you bake it in a bread pan bake for about an hour.

This makes about 24 servings with 197 calories per serving, I count 3 mini-muffins as 1 serving.

The texture was perfect on these and they are not crumbly at all. Super yummy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Hubby’s birthday was a couple weekends ago so of course I had to make another cake. I saw this delicious masterpiece at Smitten Kitchen and had to give it a try. It is sinful. Just as a warning if you aren’t into that kind of stuff. This is by far the moistest GF cake I’ve ever had, we’re still snacking on it 5 days later and it hasn’t dried out at all. I think this may be my new go-to cake. I didn’t add the chocolate-peanut butter glaze because I ran out of time but I imagine it just makes it even more sinful.

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

2 C GF flour mix (I used Gluten Free Mama’s Coconut Blend)
1 t xanthan gum
1 ½ C sugar
¾ C unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 C olive oil
1 C sour cream
1 ½ C water
2 T white vinegar
1 t vanilla extract
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease three 8 inch round cake pans or 1 large cake pan.

Sift the flour, xanthan gum, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add the oil and sour cream to the flour mixture then gradually beat in the water. Mix in the vinegar and vanilla until combined. Add in the eggs and mix well scraping down the sides of the bowl. Spread an equal amount of batter into each cake pan.

Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow them to cool in the pans before removing.

Peanut Butter Frosting

10 oz cream cheese at room temp
1 stick butter at room temp
5 C powdered sugar
1/3 C peanut butter

Beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time scraping down the sides and mixing well after each addition. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy then add the peanut butter and mix until blended.

Put the layer cake together using frosting to “glue” the layers together. Frost the sides and top of the cake and enjoy!

Take Smitten Kitchen’s advice and serve it in thin slices with a glass of milk.

Don’t you like my wrecktastic writing? Hubby loves the “I want sprinkles” cake on Cake Wrecks so I had to indulge him.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Breads From Anna Mixes

The Breads From Anna Bread Mix is the best GF bread I have had so far. It has a great texture and isn’t crumbly plus it stays moist for 3-4 days on the counter. It’s not cheap but worth every penny in my opinion. I still like to try my hand at homemade bread now and then but this mix is always in my pantry. I use the mix in my Zojirushi Bread Machine and it turns out wonderfully. The manual tells you how to program a homemade cycle for GF breads. If you use a bread machine be sure to scrape down the sides during the mixing cycle, some of the flour doesn’t make it into the dough if you don’t do this. Also once the mix cycle is over and the rise cycle is starting I smooth the bread out to make it even. Put a little bit of water on your fingers or a spatula to help make it smooth and shape it as needed.

I saw the banana bread mix at Oak Street Market and figured it was worth a try. It was quick to put together and I made muffins since my littles love muffins. The taste was really good but they didn’t rise like my banana bread does. I also didn’t think the texture was quite as good as mine so I think I’ll stick to making them from scratch.

You can get these mixes at Oak Street Market and they are also available at Bonanza in Billings and Whitefish Super 1.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Conte's Cheese Stuffed Shells

One of my new finds at Bonanza was Conte’s Pasta. I’ve been eyeing up their ravioli online for quite some time but just haven’t had it in me to order it. I was so happy to see that Bonanza carried this pasta. Initially I was going to get the ravioli but it came with sauce already added so I opted for the cheese stuffed shells instead. We enjoyed this pasta the first night we were back, mostly because it was quick and easy and I didn’t have it in me to do anything but quick and easy. The instructions are simple. Cover the bottom of a baking pan with your favorite pasta sauce, place the shells on top then cover them with the remaining sauce and bake. This package came with 6 shells total and they were enough to feed my family along with having 1 shell left over. I topped them with grated parmesan when they came out of the oven and was really happy with the taste and texture. Hubby’s comment was that they were better than a lot of stuff out there so I would say he liked them.

I compared what I paid at Bonanza to what it costs through and Bonanza has them beat by about $2.50. It’s not cheap but it’s a fast option for dinner and is cheaper than eating out.

Bonanza Health Foods in Billings

Hubby and I had some time on Saturday to check out Bonanza Health Foods in Billings and I’m glad that we did. They have a nice selection of GF items and some of them I’ve never seen in Bozeman. I did pick up a few new things to try and noticed that they have some of my favorites. They carry the S’Better chicken strips and corn dogs and they carry Glutino Frozen Pizzas. These are the best frozen pizzas we’ve had and they are our absolute favorite. The crust on them is wonderful so if you haven’t tried them please do!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Gluten Free Graham Crackers

I was busy baking to prepare for our company last week and for our trip to Yellowstone. One item on my baking list was graham crackers and it just so happened that The Cinnamon Quill posted a delicious looking graham cracker recipe so I could try something new. The first graham crackers I made were Carol Fenster’s and they were OK but not spectacular so I wanted to try another recipe. I made a couple changes to the recipe but if you want the original go here. These graham crackers are delicious. The gluten eaters that visited us liked them a lot and my kids won’t stop eating them. Plus they make delicious S’mores.

Gluten Free Graham Crackers
Adapted from The Cinnamon Quill

1 C Gluten Free Mama Almond Flour
¼ C Brown Rice Flour
¾ C Teff Flour
¼ C Sorghum Flour
½ C Brown Sugar
1 t Baking Powder
¾ t Xanthan Gum
½ t Baking Soda
½ t Salt
7 T Cold Butter, cut into pieces
4 T Cold Water
3 T Honey
1 ½ T Molasses
1 t Vanilla Extract
1 ½ t Cinnamon
1 t ginger
Extra flour for rolling

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl then add the butter and blend with a pastry cutter or your fingers. Stir in the water, honey, molasses, vanilla, and spices. The dough will come together in a ball and should be pliable. Adjust the water as needed to keep it from being too dry or too sticky.

Spray a cookie sheet with oil and roll out half of the dough to 1/8” thickness. To get the traditional look of a graham cracker cut the rectangular shapes in the dough using a pizza cutter then pierce the rectangles with a fork. You can also roll the dough on the counter top using the flour as needed and cut shapes out of the dough then place them on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes. The cookies will become crispy while they cool. I had to cut the rectangular shapes again with the pizza cutter after they cooled, it didn’t work too well when I tried to break them off.

You can substitute the different flours with your favorite flour or whatever you have on hand. The original recipe called for 1 C brown rice flour but I only had ¼ C on hand so I added the teff flour.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I wasn’t sure how gluten free Yellowstone would be so I packed enough food to feed an army for a week, I’m really good at overdoing it. To go along with the fruit, vegetables, cheese, and lunch meat I just knew we needed cookies. I made my favorite oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip cookies just for some extra variety and because I like to overdo it. Our gluten eating guests devoured these cookies and then asked for the recipes. You know it’s good when that happens. My dad’s comment on these cookies when he first had them was “These are real cookies. They’re better than anything you could buy and you’d never know they’re gluten free.” That statement is very true so please try these because you will fall out of your seat in ecstasy.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Jill at Hey That Tastes Good

3 ¼ C Gluten Free Mama Almond Flour
1/3 C Teff flour*
1 ½ t xanthan gum
1 ¼ t baking soda
1 ½ t baking powder
1 ½ t salt
2 ½ stick of butter, softened
1 ¼ C brown sugar
1 C granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 T vanilla
1 bag GF chocolate chips
1 bag GF mini chocolate chips**

Sift together the flour, teff (if you’re using this),xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cream the butter with the sugars until fluffy then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and beat well. Add the flour mixture until combined then add the chocolate chips. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Scoop balls of dough and place on a cookie sheet, I used my Pampered Chef medium scoop. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt and bake 10-12 minutes. Be sure to wipe any salt off the cookie sheet before putting more dough on it, otherwise you will have very salty cookies. Allow the cookies to cool a bit before placing on a cooling rack. Using my medium scoop I had about 48 cookies from this recipe. The cookies freeze nicely.

*You can substitute the teff flour with your main flour mix. I have made the cookies with and without the teff and both were yummy.
** I love my chocolate chip cookies to be chocolaty but if this is too much for you reduce the chocolate chips by half.

Gluten Free Croutons

I apologize for being quiet this last week but I was on vacation and Yellowstone doesn’t really have much connectivity with the internet and all. I am back though and have lots to post.

I’m not one that freezes half of my gluten free bread to keep it from drying out and we all know gluten free bread dries out fairly quickly so what do we do with this stale bread? Do not throw it away, it still has plenty of options for you and they are delicious. Toast is always a good option but I usually make French toast (mmm…) or croutons with my stale bread. I use the croutons to put in my meatloaf and to make chicken strips. They have so many options and are easy to make. I had run out of croutons so the other night I took my stale bread and busted out some croutons.

Garlic Parmesan Croutons

Stale bread
Garlic flavored Olive Oil*
Parmesan Cheese

There aren’t any measurements because it’s all based on how much bread you have and what your taste preferences are. Preheat your oven to 250 F. Slice the bread into small squares, I like mine to be about ¼” in size. Place the squares in a single layer on a cookie sheet then drizzle with the garlic flavored olive oil and dust with parmesan cheese. You can add any other flavors you like or just leave it plain if you prefer. Place in the oven for 30 minutes then remove and allow the croutons to cool. I place mine in a plastic bag and store them in the freezer to grab as I need. These smell so good when they’re in the oven.

*I like the garlic olive oil from Olivelle in Bozeman, if you haven’t been there I highly recommend stopping by it’s a lot of fun. They offer a ton of flavored olive oils so you can always add a kick to these with the different options.