Chevre & Quince Preserves on GF Flatbread

GF-DF Appetizer

Chevre and Quince preserves on GF flat bread is about the quickest gluten and dairy-free appetizer you can make. Just a few simple ingredients and you can whip this together in no time at all and the best part is it tastes like a gourmet hors d’ oeuvre! My hubby and I had a 6 pm wine-tasting party to go to last week. Here is how the course of events went down. Got off work at 5 pm, ran across the street to attend a business open house for a half hour, at 5:30 pm hurried home but on the way remembered I must bring an appetizer! Ran into the grocery store for some chevre (goat cheese), quince preserves, and fresh basil (I already had gluten-free flat bread at home). Got home at 5:50 pm, changed into evening attire, ran to kitchen and made hors d’ oeuvres, asked hubby to find my black evening shoes while I finished, he couldn’t find them, switched to having him finish the appetizer (which he did beautifully), left the house and arrived at wine-tasting party where my appetizer was a smashing success! I know most of you are probably well-ahead planners, but some days, I fly by the seat of my pants, and this was one of them. Just thankful it all turned out and we had a fabulous time with new friends and old, wine-tasting and singing Christmas carols to ring in the Christmas season.

Gluten & dairy free appetizer

This quick and easy appetizer is gluten & dairy-free!

I received a box in the mail from American Gra-Frutti out of Roswell, GA. Chief baker, Marilyn Santulli, has made it a goal to create great tasting gourmet foods, one of which is Marilyn’s Gluten-free Gourmet Artisan Flatbread Crackers. Check out her website. You may order direct, and she has several delicious hors d’ Oeuvre recipes listed on her site. They were the perfect cracker for my Chevre & Quince Preserves on GF Flatbread.

Chevre & Quince Preserves Hors d' Ouerves

Chevre & Quince Preserves Hors d’ Ouerves

The flatbread comes with poppy seeds and sesame seeds baked on the top, making it gourmet before you even add any toppings. Made from rice flour, tapioca starch, cornstarch, and potato starch as the main base, the cracker is made in a dedicated gluten-free factory and has a nice crisp cracker-like texture. You may use any type of gluten-free cracker for your base, but I would recommend trying Marilyn’s GF Gourmet Artisan Flatbread for your appetizer. It turns your ordinary hors d’ ouerves into extraordinary!

Chevre & Quince Preserves on GF Flatbread

Serves 12-16
Prep time 10 minutes
Dietary Dairy-free, Gluten-free
Meal type Appetizer
Misc Gourmet
Need to whip up a gourmet appetizer fast? Use Marilyn's gluten-free Gourmet Artisan Flatbread, a little chevre and some quince preserves, and voila! A beautiful gourmet appetizer at your fingertips!

Ingredients

  • 7oz Marilyn's Artisan Flatbread Crackers (or other gf cracker)
  • 4oz Chevre (goat cheese)
  • 12oz Quince Preserves (or Apricot)
  • 1 bunch Basil Leaves (fresh-chopped)

Optional

  • drizzle White Balsamic (just before serving -optional)

Directions

Step 1
lay flatbread on a serving tray. Add a slice of chevre and a small spoonful of quince preserves to the cracker.
Step 2
Chop fresh basil and sprinkle it on top of the appetizer.
Step 3
Optional- Just before serving drizzle a lite amount of white balsamic over the top of each hors d' oeuvres. Serve preferably with a glass of wine.

 

Gluten-free Pancakes with Southern Eggnog Syrup

GF Pancakes with Eggnog Syrup

I really love the Christmas season, family gatherings, and cooking up yummy things to eat, and I especially love when I get inspired, and making eggnog syrup from Evan William’s Original Southern Eggnog was, well, deliciously inspired! If you have ever tried this warm, festive beverage, you’ll know what I mean. It takes pure maple syrup to a whole new level. If you find that you like this recipe, you may also want to try my GF-DF Lemon Blueberry Swedish pancakes or French Crepes with caramel apple compote, both which satisfy any allergist missing their favorite breakfast items.

Evan Williams' Egg Nog

Kentucky Bourbon Eggnog is a perfect addition to maple syrup.

The holiday’s have a tendency to bring out the baking, cooking, and ‘love me some morning breakfast’, especially on the weekends. My youngest son and his girlfriend came for a visit this weekend, so when I mentioned I would be making pancakes with Southern Eggnog Syrup, they were both out of their beds as soon as the smells began wafting down the hallway.

PancakePour

This handheld pancake contraption helps the pancakes come out in a uniform size.

Our other son got married this past summer and we had a full weekend of events, including a pancake feed for over 100 guests the morning of the wedding! My husband, who was the pancake chef extraordinaire, decided a pancake pour would be a great investment. He was right, and now I have it to use at home; a bonus especially if you are making little dollar size pancakes. It helps keep them close to the same size, which is preferred when stacking.

Gluten-free Pancake Cooking

Wait for the bubble before you flip the pancake!

Remember to always wait for the edges to slightly dry and bubbles to form in the middle of the pancake before flipping it over. Otherwise, it is too easy to have the batter sling across the skillet. I love crispy little edges on the outside of my pancake. In order to achieve this, you must have a hot skillet that has been coated in oil. Once the skillet has reached high heat, you may turn it down to medium high if you are noticing your pancakes browning too much before the bubbles form.

Gluten Free pancakes with Southern Eggnog Syrup

Directions for Gluten-free Pancakes with Southern Eggnog Syrup:

Gluten-free Pancakes with Southern Eggnog Syrup

Serves 4-6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 20 minutes
Dietary Gluten-free
Meal type Breakfast
Spice up your gluten-free pancakes with a drizzle of Kentucky Bourbon Eggnog Syrup. A sweet and perfect bite for a Christmas morning gathering.

Ingredients

pancake

  • 1 cup Rice Flour (ultra-fine)
  • 1/2 cup Potato Starch
  • 1/4 cup Tapioca Starch
  • 2 tablespoons Sweet Rice Flour
  • 2 tablespoons Butter (melted)
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 cup Milk (whole)
  • 1/2 cup Eggnog (regular, non-alchoholic)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg (fresh)
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder

syrup

  • 1 cup Maple Syrup (100% pure)
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 1/4 cup Eggnog (Evan Williams Kentucky Bourbon Eggnog)

Directions

pancake
Step 1
In a large mixing bowl add rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, sweet rice flour, and baking soda. Blend until fully incorporated.
Step 2
In a separate small bowl combine melted butter, egg, milk, and eggnog. Stir until fully blended then add to flour mixture. Beat over medium speed for 3 minutes.
Step 3
Heat griddle on HI heat and coat griddle with a small amount of oil. Uniformly place batter on griddle forming small circles. cook until bubble slightly form then flip. Stack pancakes on top of each other and serve hot.
syrup
Step 4
In a small saucepan add pure maple syrup, butter and Evan William's Kentucky Bourbon Eggnog. Heat to just before boiling. Remove from heat and serve over hot pancakes.

Gluten & Dairy-free Honey Teriyaki Meatballs

Christmas Tree Meatball Appetizer

Gluten and Dairy-free Honey-Teriyaki Meatballs are a perfect appetizer for anyone with food allergies. When it comes to appetizers, they are often a food allergists’ worse nightmare. There’s a guessing game that goes on inside your head. Hmm, looks thick, probably flour. Ooh, that stuffed mushroom looks good, filled with fake crab meat. Yum, how about one of those meatballs, you guessed it, full of Panko crumbs. And the list goes on and on, all the while you’re left munching on carrot and celery sticks. You learn to not even attempt to ask if they are gluten-free because most often they’ve been purchased from Costco and the box has long been thrown away in order for the hostess to have you think she slaved all day in the kitchen! You won’t have to slave all day to make my Honey Teriyaki Meatballs, and the best thing is they are gluten and dairy-free! Just make sure if you take them to a party, you snag a few, because I guarantee your friends will not guess they are allergy friendly!

Gluten & Dairy-free Honey-Teriyaki  Meatballs

Gluten-free panko crumbs make these honey-teriyaki meatballs hold together.

I used pasture-fed organic beef and sweet Italian sausage in these meatballs, but you could use chicken, turkey, or even bison meat. They are fast and easy, roll ‘em and pop them in the oven for 25 minutes, and voila, you have a delicious gluten & dairy free appetizer! I found gluten-free panko crumbs at Whole Foods, and they can be purchased on Amazon as well.

Gluten-free Meatball Mixture

Making up a batch of gluten & dairy-free meatballs makes a fabulous appetizer for any kind of party.

I used a cookie scoop to try to keep the rolled honey-teriyaki meatballs somewhat uniform in size but you could use a large spoon just as easy. Spread them out about an inch or two apart before placing them in the oven for 20 minutes. After they’ve baked, remove from the oven, spread the remaining honey-teriyaki sauce on the meatballs and return them to the oven for a remaining five minutes.

Coating honey-Teriyaki Meatballs

Give the cooked meatballs a nice thick coating of honey-teriyaki sauce.

I love to cook, whether it’s appetizers or a full five course meal. But your food is only as good as it looks. The presentation of your food takes it from being ordinary meatballs into extraordinary meatballs. Beings we’re heading in to the Christmas season, I decided to place my gluten & dairy-free Honey-Teriyaki Meatballs on a bed of fresh parsley formed in the shape of a Christmas tree. The meatballs just happen to look like ginormous Christmas balls but I think it works!

GFDF_Meatball_Pin

Pin me to your favorite gluten & dairy-free Pinterest board!

Heading to a holiday party this year? Whip up a batch of gluten & dairy-free Honey-Teriyaki Meatballs to bring along and you won’t feel left out of the party.

Directions for making Gluten & Dairy-free Honey-Teriyaki Meatballs:

Gluten & Diary-free Honey Teriyaki Meatballs

Serves 20
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Dietary Dairy-free, Gluten-free
Meal type Appetizer
Misc Serve Hot
Occasion Christmas
The perfect appetizer for anyone who is gluten and dairy-free. An easy make-ahead recipe or right before the party, and they won't know they're gluten-free!

Ingredients

teriyaki

  • 1/4 cup Tamari sauce (gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (grated)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey (raw)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

meatballs

  • 1lb hamburger beef (grass fed)
  • 1/2lb sweet Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion (finely diced)
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley (1/4 cup chopped- remaining for garnish)
  • 3/4 cups GF Panko crumbs (or GF bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

meatballs (Optional)

  • 1 Large egg (use if you are not allergic)

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
teriyaki
Step 2
In a small saucepan add all ingredients for teriyaki sauce: tamari, water, rice vinegar, palm sugar, honey, ginger, garlic, cornstarch. Heat over medium heat stirring constantly until sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and divide sauce in half.
meatballs
Step 3
In a large mixing bowl combine hamburger beef, Italian sausage, chopped parsley, diced onion, egg, pepper and gluten-free panko crumbs until fully combined. Add half of the divided teriyaki sauce to the meatball mixture. Combine.
Step 4
Roll meatballs in 1 1/2 inch diameter balls. Place on prepared cookie sheet and cook in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Baste remaining teriyaki sauce onto the cooked meatballs. Return to oven for 3-5 minutes.
Step 5
Place a bed of Italian parsley leaves down on a serving tray in the shape of a tree. Place meatballs in shape of tree on top of the parsley. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and place a toothpick in each meatball. Serve hot.

Gluten & Dairy Free Candy Cane Cupcakes

Gluten & Dairy-free Candy Cane Cupcakes

Christmas is full of a lot of sugar, whether it’s fudge, cookies or candy, it’s hard to get around it, and so it goes even when biting into a tasty gluten & dairy-free candy cane cupcake! The ‘cup of cake’ contains no refined sugar, but it’s nearly impossible to make a yummy whipped frosting without it. A day or two before creating this recipe, Janice Mansfield from Real Food Made Easy, posted a new dairy-free Ermine whipped frosting that could actually stand up to piping. So I decided to give it a try and voila! This worked beautifully!

GF-DF Christmas Candy Cane Cupcakes

Christmas cupcakes ready for an allergy-free party.

Christmas was a magical time growing up, beginning with trimming the tree. My mom always made Christmas a huge event in our home, from taffy pulling to painting ornaments, to sleeping in the same room with my brother’s and sister while waiting for Santa to arrive. Every year we drove to the mountains to cut down our ‘perfect’ tree. Bundling up in our snow gear, we’d bring the sleds along and plenty of hot cocoa. Most years we had overgrown Charlie Brown Christmas trees, but the adventure always made it the perfect tree in our eyes. I’m the child in red stripes below, who had long hair until my mom tried to cut it one day and it just kept getting shorter until she gave up and took me to the barber up the street, yes, the barber! I came home with really short hair, ha ha. Then my sister wanted hers the same, so my mom took her to the barber too; a five dollar haircut back then!

Tree Trimming '70's Style

A lot of decorations went on this tree, beginning with the giant lights!

We always had many Christmas goodies around our house but gluten-free cupcakes were not part of them. I was diagnosed in 1964! It really is pretty remarkable to me to have been diagnosed with a severe gluten intolerance at such a young age. But these gluten & dairy-free Candy Cane Cupcakes can be a part of your Christmas goodies! And if you want a cinnamon roll recipe for Christmas morning CLICK HERE.

BareCupcake

Gluten & dairy-free chocolate cupcake.

Making a roux from coconut milk and sweet rice flour starts the process for a perfect standup whipped frosting. You won’t be disappointed! Just make sure the rue has completely cooled before adding the other ingredients.

Dairy-free Whip

Making a roux from coconut milk.

Dairy-free Whipped Cream

Dairy-free whipped cream frosting!

After whipping the cream into a frosting just look at how beautiful it pipes onto the cupcakes! I’m not a huge fan of the flavor of vegan butter sticks, but when you add peppermint flavoring, it completely disguises the fact you are not using real butter. Trust me, this really is one delicious dairy-free dessert!

CC_Cupcakes

While visions of sugar plums dance in your head bite into a gluten & dairy free candy cane cupcake.

GF-DF Candy Cane Cup Cakes

Gluten & Dairy-free Candy Cane Cupcakes are an enticing delicious treat!

Gluten & Dairy-free Candy Cane Cupcakes

Serves 8-12
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Dietary Dairy-free, Gluten-free
Meal type Dessert
Occasion Christmas
Gluten-free cupcakes and dairy-free whipped frosting that is perfect for piping make these candy cane cupcakes a holiday favorite.

Ingredients

cupcake

  • 4 Large eggs (cage-free)
  • 1/3 cup honey (raw)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup almond flour (extra-fine)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand (gluten, dairy & soy free)- chopped)

frosting

  • 15oz coconut milk (full fat in the can)
  • 1/3 cup sweet rice flour (Mochiko or Bob's Redmill)
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 1/4 cup vegan buttery sticks (Earth Balance (2 1/2 sticks))
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Medium candy canes (crushed)

Directions

cupcake
Step 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray with non-stick spray or line a 12 cup muffin tray with cupcake liners.
Step 2
In a large mixing bowl add eggs, honey, melted coconut oil, and almond milk and mix until fully combined.
Step 3
Add almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt to mixture. Mix until fully combined.
Step 4
Pour batter into prepared muffin tins, filling 2/3rd's full. Place in preheated oven and bake 12-15 minutes. Check center for doneness, do not over-bake. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
frosting
Step 5
Whisk 1 can of coconut milk and sweet rice flour together in a saucepan over medium heat.
Step 6
bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking vigorously. continue whisking until mixture thickens enough to see marks left in the 'roux' by the whisk. Remove from heat.
Step 7
Whisk in peppermint extract (not essential oil) and salt. Transfer mixture to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the roux to prevent a skin forming on the top. Let cool to room temp.
Step 8
Place Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks in a large mixing bowl. Using wire whisk attachment, beat buttery sticks and granulated sugar on medium high for at least five minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Step 9
Add the cooled roux to the buttery sugar mixture and beat another five minutes. It should have the texture of heavy whipped cream. Place into a piping bag and pipe the frosting onto a cooled cupcake in a circular fashion.
Step 10
Place the four candy canes into a ziplock bag and crush the candy canes by hitting with a rolling pin or the bottom of a steel cup. Sprinkle crushed candy cane on top of frosting and finish with a small dollop of piped cream on top.

Should EVERYONE Be Gluten Free?

Should the whole earth be Gluten-free?

Should everyone on planet earth be gluten-free? Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, thinks so. Why? Because of this little modified change in modern wheat known as gliadin and how it is affecting the brain. Check out his short interview with CBS.

Genetic modification on wheat began back in the 60’s and 70’s in order to make the grain larger, less susceptible to disease, and bring about higher yields. We continue using GMO grains today but what many may not realize is the process known as ‘Harvest Management’, which uses Roundup to dry the crop for an earlier harvest. The problem arises, not only due to the large chemical base, but the fact that harvest occurs relatively soon after dousing, in which the wheat remains covered in the chemicals. Read the full article here.

In all fairness, it is important to give both sides of the story. It is easy to attack methods and produce a one-sided article without giving you the opportunity to hear from the farmers themselves. Do all farmers use pesticides during late harvest? No. To be well-informed, here is an article by Nurse Loves Farmer on the truth about glyphosate and wheat.

There has been a dramatic up-rise in celiac and gluten intolerance awareness in the past decade. I remember as a child feeling like I was the only one in the world who couldn’t eat wheat. My friends carried their cute little metal lunch pails to school filled with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Hostess Ding Dongs, while I munched on veggies, fruit and a slice of Turkey. Little did I know, my mom was feeding me super healthy meals, but to a little seven year old, I felt left out from eating that pale log of sponge cake filled with chemical cream known as a Twinkie. Thank you, mom, you probably saved my life in more ways than one!

Should the whole world be gluten-free? Maybe not gluten-free, but GMO free, yes. Look at the difference in the grain between ancient wheat and modern durum wheat.

Modern vs Ancient Wheat

Note the differences in grain size and structure.

Most countries in the world do not allow GMO foods into their market, mainly because there has not been enough research on the potential adverse affects to the human body. And it’s not just grains that have been genetically modified. For a listing of foods that have the non-GMO stamp of approval CLICK HERE.

 

For the health of our children and our future, it is good to be informed and knowledgeable about the foods we eat. Eating gluten-free isn’t like it use to be. Today’s products, gluten-free grains and recipes are delicious. It’s quite easy to say, ‘I can’t believe this is gluten-free!’ Try my crepe recipe and tell me if you can tell the difference. My family can’t! Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your feedback.

 

 

 

Pure Organic Ancient Grains Bar Product Review

Pure Organic Chocolate Chunk Ancient Grains Bar

I recently purchased a box of Pure Organic Ancient Grains Bars at Costco. The bars are gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, and most important, they taste good! The variety pack came with 15 bars in three flavors, Chocolate Chunk Nut, Triple Berry Nut, and Peanut Butter Chocolate. I am usually a lover of all things chocolate, seriously, my husband will always choose fruit flavored ice cream and I always go for the chocolate peanut butter, so I was surprised to find the triple berry bar my favorite.

Triple-Berry Pure Bar

Pure Organic Ancient Grains Bar Triple Berry flavor. Yum!

I love the fact they are part of the NON-GMO Project. The Non GMO seal has now given their seal of approval on over 21,000 products. It takes up to 4-6 months to have a product verified, and is one of the most trusted labels for being reassured the product you’re eating comes from good practices of GMO avoidance. Look for their seal of approval, especially when eating products that contain grains, to be sure they are not genetically modified. Does it concern you, like it does me, that over 60 countries, including Japan and Australia, plus all of the European Union have bans on the sale and production of GMO’s. The U.S. allows GMO’s based on studies done by the very companies that produce them! Organic Health posts an article about 67 million bees dying after Canada planted a large GMO corn field. You can read about it HERE.

Non GMO verification

Look for the non GMO project verification when you buy.

The Pure Organic Ancient Grains Bar is just what they say they are, full of the ancient grains quinoa, amaranth, flax, and hemp. They contain 160 calories per bar, 2 grams of fiber and 7 to 8 grams of sugar depending on which bar you choose, which is a little high, but they do use agave syrup and organic evaporated cane juice instead of refined sugar, like many products on the market. They do make a disclaimer on the back of the box, which states, ‘May contain pieces of nuts, shells, stems, or pits.’ I did find a small walnut shell in one of my bars when I bit into it. Fortunately, I realized it was there before biting down on the shell too hard. If you are interested in making your own bars, you might want to try my Almond Cranberry Super Grain Bars.

Pure Organic Ancient Grains Bar

Full of nuts and dried triple berries, this Pure Organic Ancient Grains bar is full of flavor.

The Pure Company is based out of Newport Beach, California, and is a company committed to giving back, promoting a healthy lifestyle, and making a positive impact on the community. You can read all about Pure Organic Ancient Grain Bars and their company HERE.

Pure Organic Bar Three Flavors

Need an afternoon snack? Reach for a Pure Bar!

So my over-all review, which is strictly my opinion, is that the Pure Organic Ancient Grains Bar is one you can stand behind. Yes, I would have liked to see the sugars a little lower, but that being said, the bar has good texture, good flavor, and is a satisfying snack. If you buy the bar in bulk it will run you from $1.25-$1.45, not too bad for a nutritional bar. Way to go Pure! You score an A on this one.

Roasted Squash Rings & Apple-Sausage Stuffing

Delicata Rings with GF Stuffing

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and if you are looking for a great side-dish to make, you might consider this yummy recipe of Roasted Squash Rings & Apple Sausage Stuffing. It’s especially a good idea if you are heading to someone’s house where only traditional full-on gluten stuffing will be served. Year after year when I was growing up, everyone would ooh and aah over my mother’s stuffing and my grandmother’s rolls (click here for a gluten-free roll recipe). It was the one holiday I felt my allergy the most. Of course this was back in the day when there were no gluten-free products on the market. Okay, maybe a few inedible ones, but truly, no bread, no flours, except soy, and gritty rice flour. Oh how the times have changed. I went in to my local co-op the other day and they’re selling a gluten-free stuffing mix. yes, a lot has changed over the past fifty years. When I came across the Delicata, I knew roasted squash rings were on the menu for Thanksgiving.

Sauteed Apple & Shallots

Crisp Granny Smith apples, celery and shallots are a great combination for a tasty stuffing.

I was reminiscing the other day on how much has changed in my lifetime. I’m going to sound ancient here, but my family growing up didn’t even own a microwave until I was out of high school! Computers were just being invented, my phone number began with PL8 rather than 758 and of course it was a rotary. We listened to music on cassette tapes and they were a pain in the neck if you wanted to rewind to hear a part over again. Rewind…nope too far…forward…nope too far, rewind…dang too far, well, you get the picture.

Gluten-free Stuffing

A gluten-free dressing made with Udi’s gluten-free bread.

But life seemed a little simpler then, too. People were intentional about getting together. Now it seems that people don’t need to get together because we see everyone’s lives inside this bubble called Facebook. Why get together when you already know where everyone’s been, where they’re going, and what they’ve ate. Believe me, I am guilty of this as well. So in the day of Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram, I’m not so sure we’re better off. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Slicing Delicata Squash

The Delicata squash makes a perfect scalloped edge for roasted squash rings.

Once again, Thanksgiving is just a week away. When I was a kid, I hated squash and green beans. Literally they made me gag! I sure am glad taste buds change. If you haven’t tired squash in a while, you really should give these roasted squash rings a try. You may be pleasantly surprised. I have so much to be thankful for this year. My mom has been gone from this earth for one whole year. This time last year was very difficult but reminiscing back, I am so very thankful for this incredible woman who taught me how to be a lady, how to cook, and how to live life to the fullest. Her zest for life was infectious, and for that I am truly thankful. I am so very thankful that my son-in-law has been cancer-free for almost a full year now and one of the greatest gifts of all has been watching my little grandson grow through his first year of life. So many blessings, so much to be forever grateful to my Heavenly Father for.

Roasted Squash Rings

Bake for 30 minutes to soften the flesh of the squash.

I know thanksgiving can be stressful, especially if you are gluten-free and going somewhere other than your own home. So consider offering to bring a side dish and maybe a dessert. There are so many great recipes and products on the market, most non-allergic people could eat gluten-free and not even know it. It’s too bad when someone who doesn’t have a gluten allergy tries a poor tasting gluten-free item and lumps all gluten-free as tasting terrible. It was that way with my family for many years. I would make a batch of brownies out of pure rice flour and the grittiness always made them refuse the bars. Once fine rice flour, tapioca and potato starches were introduced, they couldn’t believe they were gluten-free.

Delicata Stuffed Squash Rings

Stuffed Squash rings make a perfect side dish or an elegant appetizer.

Consider making Roasted Squash Rings with Apple-Sausage stuffing for Thanksgiving this year, but whatever you plan on doing, do it with a grateful heart and be truly thankful for life. What a gift!

Directions for Roasted Squash Rings:

Roasted Squash Rings & Apple Stuffing

Serves 8
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Dietary Gluten-free
Meal type Appetizer, Side Dish
Occasion Formal Party, Thanksgiving
Roasted squash rings with gluten-free apple sausage stuffing is great as an appetizer or a side dish. They not only look pretty on a dish, they reheat well.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 Medium Delicata Squash (cut in rings)
  • 1 Small Granny Smith Apple (chopped)
  • 1 Large Shallot (diced)
  • 1 Large Celery Stalk (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons Parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1/2lb Sweet Italian Sausage (ground)
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • 4 pieces Gluten-free Bread (toasted)
  • 1 cup Chicken Stalk (organic)

Directions

Step 1
In a large saute pan melt butter and Olive oil together on medium high heat.
Step 2
Add chopped shallots, celery, and apple to the pan and saute until shallots are translucent and apple is soft.
Step 3
Add chopped parsley. Saute for two more minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl and cover.
Step 4
Using same saute pan, brown sweet Italian sausage and put gluten-free bread in toaster. Toast bread until brown & crisp but not burnt.
Step 5
Chop toast into small cubes. Add cubed toast and sauteed apple-shallot mix to the Italian sausage. Stir in chicken stalk. Fold mixture several times until stalk is fully absorbed. Salt and pepper to taste.
Step 6
Slice Delicata squash into 8 rings. Remove seeds and place rings on a non-stick sprayed or parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Stuff with a heaping scoop of stuffing.
Step 7
Place in 350 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes. Use spatula to remove. Serve warm.

Mini Dutch Babies with Raspberries & Cream

GF Mini Dutch Babies

Making Gluten-free Mini Dutch Babies may just have made up for this morning of waking up at 4:30 am, and for the life of me, not being able to fall back asleep. You know, the night before when you go to bed and say, “I’m so glad I don’t have to work tomorrow. I’m not going to set my alarm, I’m just going to sleep, sleep, sleep.” I think I jinx myself every time I say that! And then on mornings when you work, you feel like you could sleep forever and end up hitting the snooze button fifty-thousand times. Seriously, does that ever happen to you?

I know, you wish you could walk over in your bedroom slippers right now and join me. Seriously, these little gluten-free mini dutch babies with raspberries and cream are delicious, but they are also super easy and you can make a Dutch baby in a matter of minutes right in your own home. In fact, you probably have all the ingredients right now. Well, maybe not the whipped cream and fresh raspberries, but you could just put syrup on them, or jam, or drizzle a little honey, or smother them in peanut butter, or almond butter. I mean the possibilities are endless! So get your little pan hands ready and whip up a batch. And if you feel more like an egg dish, you can pop on over and check out my yummy frittata recipe.

GFDutchBabyBite

Because these gluten-free Dutch Babies are small, it’s hard to eat just one!

 

Actually, I can’t complain too much about waking up early. The sun began to rise and the morning greeted me with the most beautiful Hoarfrost covering the hills, crystals on the window panes, and furry frost hanging from the edges of the leaves, creating a breathtaking scene! Our frigid cold weather of below 10 degrees made this possible, so good things do come from freezing our little ears off.

Hoarfrost Collage

Hoarfrost is one of the most beautiful stages of winter.

 

Okay, now back to how I made my morning so awesome. Once you’ve created the runny batter, fill the muffin tins only half full. The batter should fill 12 muffin tins exactly. They will puff in the oven, but don’t be worried if it looks like they are puffing too high. Once you remove them from the oven, they flatten in the center, creating a nice bowl-shaped little Dutch baby, perfect for adding your favorite filling.

Making GF Mini Dutch Babies

The Dutch babies will fall and create a crater-like puffed pancake, perfect for filling.

I like to put a little pure maple syrup down before adding the whipped cream and raspberries to the top. To make them look extra fancy, take a fine mesh or flour sifter and gently sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top. And then get ready to bite into a mouth full of yum!

GFDutchBabiesPin

Gluten-free little Dutch Babies with whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Make it today!

Gluten-Free Dutch Babies Bite

Gluten-free mini Dutch babies are good to the last bite!

 

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Mini Dutch Babies Directions

Mini Dutch Babies with Raspberries & Cream

Serves 4-6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Gluten-free
Meal type Breakfast
Misc Child Friendly
Gluten-free mini Dutch Babies are small puffy pancakes that may be filled with your favorite filling, including fresh raspberries and whipped cream. Oh yum!

Ingredients

Dutch Baby

  • 3 Large eggs (cage free)
  • 1/2 cup milk (preferably whole)
  • 1/2 gluten-free flour mix (I used Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (preferably unrefined)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1 cup Raspberries (fresh)
  • 3/4 cups Whipping Cream
  • 1 heaped tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • powdered sugar (optional- for dusting)

Directions

Dutch Baby
Step 1
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Step 2
Dutch Baby Batter
Mix all Dutch Baby ingredients in mixing bowl with wire whip for 3 minutes.
Step 3
Making GF Mini Dutch Babies
Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray and fill muffin tins half full of batter. Place in a 400 degree oven and cook for 12-16 minutes or until edges begin to slightly brown.
Topping
Step 4
Whip the cream in a mixing bowl with wire whip attachment until soft peaks form. Gently fold in sugar and vanilla.
Step 5
GFDutchBabiesPin
Arrange two or three Dutch babies on each plate. Fill Dutch baby with a small amount of maple syrup. Place a scoop of whipped cream on top of syrup and add a few raspberries on top. Garnish with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Chocolate-Cardamom Crinkle Cookies

GF Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Gluten-free Chocolate-Cardamom Crinkle Cookies seem like a perfect recipe for the fresh cardamom I brought back from Turkey. One step into the spice market in Istanbul and your nose goes into “scent-sory” overload. Colorful spices line the sides of the market, while merchants waft them under your nose trying to lure you in to their shops. I sampled the most delicious Turkish Delight I have ever tasted, and came home with several spices, from high quality saffron threads to the highly aromatic cardamom. I put a pinch of cardamom in my latte this morning and it was delicious! But if you try it, remember, just a pinch! It is a very strong spice and you can easily overdo it. In fact, I made two batches of the chocolate-cardamom crinkle cookies because the first time I added a full teaspoon of cardamom and it was too much. My second batch I used 1/2 a teaspoon and that was much better.

The Beauty of Istanbul

Istanbul is a remarkable city, full of beautiful sights, sounds, and smells.

We found the people of Istanbul to be very friendly, despite the news as of late. We were part of a guided tour for the one day we had in this massive city of nearly 14 million people. We visited the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, which was built by the orders of Constantine, and the Spice Market, built in 1660. We were there on a Sunday, so the Grand Bazaar was closed. I was a little disappointed in that, but the spice market was a treat in and of itself. I wasn’t sure I could get back through customs with the spices, but as long as they are factory sealed, there is no problem.

I have been receiving a lot of advertising lately for Bob’s Red Mill new 1 to 1 Baking Flour. I was especially curious how it would perform in my chocolate-cardamom cookies because the first ingredient is sweet rice flour, which tends to be a little more gummy. But I was impressed. The flour performed exceptionally well and made a delicious chocolaty-spicy crinkle cookie.

Bob's Red Mill Baking Flour

Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Crinkle Ball

The powdered sugar on the outside helps for the Crinkle on the outside.

Chocolate and cardamom go together quite nicely, but if you want a traditional chocolate crinkle cookie, you can always eliminate the cardamom. I did have to give the cookie a little flattening just as soon as it came out of the oven, so if you want them to flatten on their own just add a little more butter, probably another 1/4 cup, making it two full sticks. They are nice and fudgy in the center and slightly crispy on the outside.

GF Chocolate-Cardamom Crinkle Cookie

A delicious little treat using 1 to 1 baking flour.

GF Chocolate-Cardamom Crinkle Cookie Directions:

Chocolate-Cardamom Crinkle Cookies

Serves 18
Prep time 18 minutes
Cook time 12 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Gluten-free
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly
A Fudgy center and crisp outside make these gluten-free chocolate-cardamom crinkle cookies the perfect dunking cookie. Pour a glass of milk and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (ground)
  • 1 2/3 cup 1 to 1 Baking Flour (Bob's Redmill)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Step 1
Cream together eggs, butter, and coconut palm sugar.
Step 2
Blend in cocoa powder, cardamom, baking powder, and 1 to 1 flour. (Mix will be fairly creamy).
Step 3
Place powdered sugar in a small bowl. Scoop a small amount of dough and roll into a ball. Roll in the powdered sugar and place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment or silicone pad. Place cookies about 2 inches apart.
Step 4
Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and gently press cookies down if they haven't crinkled enough.

I shared this recipe on the following blogs: VegetarianMamma

Making the Perfect Gluten-free French Crepe

Gluten-free Crepe with Caramelized Apple Compote

There are a lot of gluten-free crepe recipes on the web but I think I may have perfected the skill of making the perfect gluten-free French crepe. My husband and I recently returned from a twelve day European cruise to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Wow! It was a trip of a lifetime. I had never been to Europe, so it gave a perfect sampling of many beautiful cities. I found some cities a bit more difficult to eat gluten-free than others. In Italy for instance, most menus are full of pizza and pasta, but not the gluten-free version. I ate a lot of anti-pasta and mozzarella cheese with tomatoes and basil. In France, the smell of a crepe lured me in, but again, no gluten-free version. My hubby sampled them all for me. I told him as soon as we return I was going to work on perfecting a gluten-free crepe that rivaled the French crepe, very thin with slightly crisp edges. My husband, who is very honest, will send me back to the “test kitchen” if it’s not just right, gave me the two thumbs up. He said, “Babe, you nailed making the perfect gluten-free French crepe, I’m not sure I could tell the difference!”

The Perfect Gluten-free Crepe

Perfecting the gluten-free crepe; thin, crisp edges with excellent texture.

I watched several different videos of French chefs creating crepes and a few similarities stood out. Make sure the batter is thin, the pan must be extra hot, and begin pouring the crepe in a circle from the outer edges of the pan to the center. This will help ensure that the outer edges crisp because they will cook slightly longer. Using a non-stick 10″ skillet, I found that just shy of 1/3 cup of batter made the perfect crepe. The next trick of course is getting the flour right. I used even 3rd’s of rice, tapioca and potato starch, which was the perfect blend.

The Secret to a Perfect GF Crepe

Thin batter and a hot skillet are the combination needed for a perfect crepe.

The crepes cook quickly, so place them on a warm plate and fold them in half to help preserve the heat.

Thin Gluten-free Crepes

The secret to a perfect crepe are the thin, slightly crispy edges.

You can fill your crepes with any type of fruit, or use Nutella spread, which is very popular at all the Creperies in France. This crepe recipe may also be used to make a savory one with ham and cheese if you like. I prefer using seasonal fruit, so making an apple compote seemed natural. I cut a large Fuji apple in half (use two apples if they are small to medium size) and placed half in a blender, creating an apple sauce. The other half I chopped and placed in a pan to create the compote.

Simmering Apple Compote

The caramelized sauce infuses into the apples as they simmer.

After the apples had simmered for about 20 minutes, I added the pureed apple to the sauce.

Caramelized Apple Compote

Filling and topping the crepe with this compote tastes like eating your favorite apple pie. Yum!

Place a small amount of caramelized apple compote in the center…

Filling a Gluten-free Crepe

Spread a little caramelized apple filling on the inside before rolling the crepe.

roll the crepe, and place a little compote on top. The end result is a crepe my husband said tasted as close to a French crepe as I could have hoped!

GF_Crepes_viaPinterest

Gluten-free crepes with caramelized apple compote makes the perfect breakfast!

The only city we visited in France was Toulon. Certainly not the most beautiful city in France. It is home to a large naval base and was massively bombed during World War II. Sadly, their beautiful buildings were replaced with uninspired apartment complexes along the Mediterranean coast. Dive a little deeper in to the city and you will find remnants of a once beautiful place. We wandered through the streets and came across a local farmer’s market selling everything from fresh olives to goat heads and sea urchins (I saved you by not posting the picture of the goat heads). It did, however, make me wonder if I would cook any differently if I lived in France.

Toulon, France

Toulon, France, not the most beautiful of French cities, but still a nice visit.

Gluten-free Crepes with Caramelized Apple Compote

Serves 8
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Gluten-free
Meal type Breakfast, Dessert
There are a few secrets to making the perfect gluten-free crepes, thin with crisp edges. Try this recipe out; they taste as good as a true French crepe!

Ingredients

crepe

  • 2 Large eggs (free range)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup white rice flour (extra-fine)
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/3 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup milk (whole)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • butter (for pan)

compote

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 Large apple (divided in half. chop half, puree half.)
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions

compote
Step 1
In a small sauce pan over medium heat add butter and 1/2 a large chopped apple.
Step 2
Add coconut palm sugar, cinnamon and water.
Step 3
Bring apple mixture to a medium boil, stirring occasionally.
Step 4
Place remaining half an apple into a blender and blend on high until applesauce forms. Add a tablespoon of water if needed.
Step 5
Add applesauce to chopped apples in saucepan.
Step 6
Turn burner down to low and continue on a slow simmer while you make the crepe batter.
Step 7
Simmer until apples are completely soft.
crepe
Step 8
In a medium size bowl, whisk together 2 large eggs and water.
Step 9
Briskly whisk in rice flour, tapioca and potato starch.
Step 10
Slowly add milk while continuing to stir.
Step 11
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add to crepe mixture. Batter should be extremely thin.
Step 12
Heat a 10"non-stick skillet on high heat. Add a small amount of butter to cover the bottom of the pan.
Step 13
Stir the batter between each crepe to ensure it is fully blended; flour has a tendency to settle. Pour approximately 1/3 cup of batter into heated pan beginning in a circular pattern from the outer edges of the pan to the center. Lift the pan and swirl in all directions creating an even coating.
Step 14
Cook until outer edges begin to crisp and pull away from the pan. Flip over and cook an additional 1 minute on other side.
Step 15
Place cooked crepe onto a warm plate and flip in half. Continue cooking until all crepe batter is used.
Step 16
Open crepe and place a small amount of apple compote down the center. Roll crepe and add a small amount of compote on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.

This recipe has been shared on the following blogs: VegetariamMamma

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