Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes {37 Cooks & Good Cook}

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I love being a part of both 37 Cooks and Good Cook Blogger/Kitchen Experts – and I love that they have combined forces for this event. Each of the 37 Cooks received the following items from Good Cook as part of the recipe challenge: Pineapple Corer/Slicer, Mixing Bowl, Spatula, and Chopping Mats. We then had a choice of one of the following items to play around with: Nonstick Round 9″ Cake Pan (Set of 2 for layer cakes), 13″ x 9″ Nonstick Covered Cake Pan, Dessert Bar Pan, or 4-Cup Loaf Pan. I ended up choosing the dessert bar pan because I thought that would be pretty versatile.

This was no ordinary challenge though – this was the Good Cook Potluck Pantry Challenge. The key word in that name is PANTRY, meaning we had to cook or bake with whatever we had in our pantry (including fridge) and not buy anything at the store. Thankfully my pantry is pretty well stocked and happened to have a fresh pineapple on hand! We had to use two of the Good Cook items – one from the core items received and the second item was whichever pan we choose.

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I knew right away that I wanted to make pineapple upside down cakes – this was my favorite cake growing up because it did not have frosting on it! I kid you not…to this day I still do not really like frosting unless it’s my own frosting which I do not sweeten much. My sweet tooth is not that strong I guess. This goes perfectly with a little dollop of lightly sweetened fresh whipped cream. Even though I chose to do a sweet recipe, this pan can be used for so much more than desserts – you can bake cornbread, risotto (yes risotto squares!), meatloaf, etc. The possibilities are pretty endless – you just need to be creative.

I used the following items to create my Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes: Pineapple Corer/Slicer, Spatula, Chopping Mats, and Dessert Bar Pan – I loved using the pineapple corer/slicer – super easy to use, say good-bye to canned pineapple rings!

The recipe is below however, here are a few substitutions that can be made:

  • If you are not gluten-free feel free to use a “regular” cake mix
  • The recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free – the picture does show whipped cream but you can omit that.
  • Don’t like pineapple? Use a different fruit…raspberries, cherries, etc.
  • I used earth balance sticks – feel free to use whatever butter or butter alternative you want…I haven’t tried anything besides this and butter so I can not guarantee any results

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

photo(10)Ingredients

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Prepare cake mix according to package instructions (use the spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl every so often if using a stand mixer)
  3. Evenly divide up the 2-3 tablespoons of earth balance into the 12 wells of the dessert pan
  4. Place pan in preheated oven to melt the butter – once melted remove from oven and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly into the wells of the pan
  5. Top the brown sugar and melted butter with one 1/2 chunk of pineapple and 1 natural maraschino cherry (halved or whole is fine)
  6. Pour in prepared cake batter evenly into wells of pan – leave about 1/4 inch room to let the cake rise in the oven
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven and using a heatproof serving plate or cutting board upside down onto pan,  turn plate and pan over.
  9. Leave pan over cake 5 minutes so brown sugar topping can drizzle over cake; remove pan.
  10. Cool 30 minutes.
  11. Can be served either warm or cool with either ice cream (dairy free alternatives available), or whipped cream (or coconut cream)
  12. Store covered in refrigerator.

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Good Cook provided us with these products free of charge – all opinions are 100% my own.

Cheesecake Cups {Good Cook: Sweet Creations Bake-A-Bowl}

photo 2(6)Spring has officially sprung! I love this time of year for all the beautiful flowers blooming and the fresh fruits and vegetables, I can’t wait for the farmer’s markets to really pick up. Spring time also means it’s time for lots of celebrations…graduations, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, etc. So if you are looking for an easy and super delicious treat to share at any one of these occasions look no further. I was originally going to make a salad for this recipe, but Bryan said it was “too simple” and I should do something sweet instead. I didn’t want to do anything with brownies so I though of the cheesecake that I make Bryan for his birthday that has a chocolate chip cookie crust that he loves and decided to make some adjustments; turning this into a lovely spring treat. I kept the cookie crust but decided that since the bowls were already baked, why not do a no-bake cheesecake filling, make it bright with some lemon juice and lemon zest and then top with fresh berries. I love the tangy flavor of the 1/3 fat cream cheese and always use that in my cheesecakes.

Good Cook has done it again with their Bake-A-Bowl pan – it is a 6 cup pan with two pieces that you fill, top, and bake to create the perfect little bowls! You can pretty much make anything with this pan…brownie bowls, cookie bowls, pancake bowls, tortilla bowls, cornbread bowls, etc. Much to Bryans dismay I have an obsession with kitchen equipment, but my defense is I use everything I have! So if you are like me, and love playing around with fun with new kitchen goodies, you have to check this out.

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Check out my recipe for Cheesecake Cups using a cookie crust and a no bake cheesecake filling topped with delicious fresh strawberries, perfect for Mother’s day – I promise she will love these!

Cheesecake Cups

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  • 1 package of cookie mix (chocolate chip, sugar cookie, etc. – follow directions on package to prepare)
  • 1 – 8oz package of 1/3 fat cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 8 oz heavy cream
  • 1 pint fresh berries (strawberries – sliced thin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Method of Preparation

  1. Prepare cookie mix as directed on package
  2. Spray both the bottom and top pan lightly with non-stick spray
  3. Evenly divide prepared cookie mix into six portions and place into the bottom of the Bake-A-Bowl pan, be sure to not fill past the “fill line”
  4. Take the top part of the pan and press it in to place
  5. Bake according to package instructions (you made need a little bit of additional time, these baked for 22 minutes)
  6. Remove from oven and let cool – do not remove top of pan until completely cooled.
  7. Once cooled, remove bowls from pan and set aside.
  8. Using either a stand mixer or electric mixer beat together the softened cream cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest until soft and smooth.
  9. Add in whipping cream and mix on low until incorporated and then turn it to medium-low and mix until it becomes thickened.
  10. Add in the sugar and mix until incorporated
  11. Poor into chilled bowls and refrigerate for several hours (or over night if making this ahead of time).
  12. Wash and then slice strawberries thinly and place in a bowl
  13. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and toss to coat. This will help the natural juices release.
  14. To assemble the cheesecakes, remove from the refrigerator and let them stand at room temp for 15-20 minutes prior to serving. Top with fresh berries or your favorite cheesecake topping.
  15. Enjoy!

photo 4(3)Again there are so many great ways to use this pan:

  • Sweet treats: brownies, cookie, etc.
  • Bake in the top part of the bowls as well – can be used as fillings inside the bottom of the bowl
  • If making bread bowls – but a baking sheet over the top of the pan to weigh it down…this will help with the bread from rising too much.
  • Non-sweet treats: cornbread bowls for chili, Tortilla bowls for tacos or salad, Bacon bowls etc.
  • Breakfast: Bacon bowls filled with scrambled eggs, pancake bowls, hashbrown nests, etc.
  • Have fun, and be creative!

You can buy Sweet Creations products online from Good Cook and get a 25% discount with the code BAKEBOWL.
Check out more great recipes and ideas here!

#goodcook #goodcookkitchenexpert #sweetcreations

Beef & Broccoli {Take-Out-At-Home}

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I need a wok. Seriously. With the amount of Asian food that I make it amazes me that I do not own one. Someday.

My dad however has one, so we put it to use one night and made some gluten-free beef and broccoli. My dad is awesome for many reasons, but I love how good he is about gluten-free awareness and cross contamination. He even has a separate peanut butter jar just for me so I don’t get sick when I am there. He keeps gluten-free bread and goodies in his freezer for me as well. Like I said, he is pretty awesome.

Who doesn’t love a quick easy version of one of your take-out favorites?! I know not all of the ingredients below are traditionally what is found in beef & broccoli but it tastes pretty darn good. There are a bunch of other beef & broccoli recipes out there on the web, and I really wanted to make something simple yet flavorful. Hope you all give it a shot and enjoy it.

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Beef & Broccoli

  • 1 pound beef – tenderloin cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1-2 medium heads of broccoli cut into florets
  • 1 1/2 inches of ginger peeled and sliced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or oil of your choice)
  • Boiling Water (for broccoli)
  • Bowl of ice water

Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce (San-J reduced sodium)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar (Marukan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons potato starch (you can use corn or tapioca)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of pepper

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce (San-J reduced sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (Dynasty Brand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (white or brown)
  • 2 teaspoons of potato starch (you can use corn or tapioca)
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust as needed or omit)

Method of Preparation

  • Slice beef and set aside
  • In a medium bowl combine all ingredients in the marinade and add beef. Marinade for 30 minutes.
  • In a large stock pot bring water to boil, and blanch the broccoli florets – about 10-15 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Immediately place blanched broccoli in ice water to stop the cooking process.
  • Repeat with remaining broccoli. Once all broccoli is blanched and then placed in an ice bath, strain and pat dry. Set aside.
  • In a wok or large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of oil over high heat. Add half o the beef and cooking until about 75-80% cooked throughout (this will be quick at high heat).
  • Remove from pan and set aside. Repeat with remaining oil and steak.
  • Add ginger and red pepper flakes, stir-fry for 30 seconds – 1 minute.
  • Return the beef to the pan to finish cooking. Add broccoli and stir fry for 1 minute
  • Add sauce and toss to coat – as soon as the sauce begins to thicken remove from the heat.
  • Serve with steamed rice – white or brown.
  • Enjoy!

 

 

Southwestern Chicken Pizza

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Every once in a while I crave pizza, but it isn’t very often. To me pizza has always been kind of a snack food, not a meal. It needs to have a lot of amazing toppings on it or at least have a salad with it for it to be a meal. I know this sounds weird, but it just is not a meal in my world. However, I think I have come up with a substantial enough of a pizza to make it a meal with. Below is my Southwestern Chicken Pizza loaded with chicken breast, black beans, corn, and lots of delicious veggies. You can feel free to customize the toppings and spice level to your likings. If you are vegetarian omit the chicken and load up on some extra veggies and beans.

I don’t know how busy you all are, but if you are anything like myself, you are pretty darn busy. Most days I’m up at 4:00am and I’m home anywhere between 2:30pm – 10:00pm, all depending on that day’s schedule. Some nights are loaded up with homework and I don’t always have the time to make myself a fancy dinner so this comes in very handy. It is loaded up protein and nutrients. If you use a pre-made crust, this makes for a very quick and easy weeknight meal.

Southwestern Chicken Pizza

Crust

Topping

  • Sauce: Homemade or Jarred (all depends on how much and how big your pizza is
  • 1/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked chicken breast (boneless/skinless), cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup peppers: red, yellow, and orange, cut into 1/4″ dice
  • 1/2 cup corn: fresh, frozen, canned (unsalted and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup black beans: rinsed and drained well
  • 1/4 cup red onion: sliced thin
  • 1 cup baby spinach: packed and rough chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 clove of garlic grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method of Preparation

  1. In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add peppers and corn and cook for 3 – 5 minutes.
  3. Add black beans and red onions, cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Add the baby spinach to the pan and cook until wilted.
  5. After the spinach has wilted, add diced chicken and season with cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic, and salt.
  6. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Top pizza crush with sauce, cheese, and chicken and vegetable mixture…top with a little additional cheese if you so desire.
  8. Bake according to directions of the pizza crust you are using.
  9. Enjoy!

 

 

Savory Rolls {Dorot & 37 Cooks}

IMG_9625Have you heard of Dorot before? I’ve been using them for years. They are awesome little cubes of tasty goodness. So easy to use and perfect for a quick meal loaded with flavor. We over at 37 Cooks had the privilege of them being our latest sponsor. They sent us each a few coupons to pick up a variety of their products to work with and create a recipe. As with all sponsored posts and reviews these opinions are 100% my own.

I was able to find their items at a few stores around me, especially the one that I work at! Talk about convenience – so I picked up their Chili, Garlic, and Ginger cubes. In the recipe below however I ended up just using the chili and the garlic – the garlic actually was put to use in both recipes: Savory Rolls and Feta Spread. Visit their website to see all of their great options including rice mixes and sauces (I have not tried either of these and not 100% sure if they are all gluten-free) and also where to find these great products. These are perfect for saving time in the kitchen chopping garlic and herbs.

Below is my recipe for savory rolls (think cinnamon rolls, but not) with a feta spread. These are great and very versatile – please feel free to change the filling ingredients to whatever your taste buds prefer. You can roll them thinner and make mini ones as well – they work perfectly for an appetizer. The recipe below is gluten-free and vegetarian but again, feel free to change it up…add some cooked ground hot sausage or some crispy pancetta.

Savory Rolls & Feta Spread

Simple, versatile, rustic, and delicious.

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons butter (add more if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (add more if needed)
  • 1 medium yellow onion cut in half and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 3 cubes of Dorot Crushed Garlic
  • 3 cubes of Dorot Crushed Chili
  • 1/2 cup packed baby spinach
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Dough

  • 3 tablespoons butter – melted
  • 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend of your choice (I used Cup4Cup) – **if there is no xanthan gum in your mix add 1 tablespoon.
  • 1 tablespoon of instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup milk  (I used SoDelicious Coconut Milk)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil – divided
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt – optional
  • Red pepper flakes – optional

Method of Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Filling:

  1. If using, grate Parmesan cheese and set aside.
  2. In a large French pan add two tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil with the sliced onions and heat over medium heat.
  3. Do not stir until the bottom layer begins to brown.
  4. When the bottom begins to brown gently stir the onions around. Continue to stir occasionally.
  5. Once onions are evenly golden brown add in sliced mushrooms.
  6. Add more butter or olive oil if needed.
  7. Cook mushrooms and onions for five minutes.
  8. Add in the Dorot Garlic and Chili cubes, stir until well combined.
  9. Stir in chopped olives and the spinach.
  10. Stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the spinach has completed wilted and everything has come together.
  11. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  12. Set aside and prepare the dough.

Dough:

  1. In a stand mixer add the gluten-free flour, yeast, and salt.
  2. Mix on low until combined.
  3. In a glass measuring cup measure out the milk and add in the melted (slightly cooled) butter, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and large egg.
  4. Mix until well combined.
  5. Slowly add to the dry ingredients in the stand mixer.
  6. Mix on medium-low for 2 minutes until well combined.
  7. Dough will be a little sticky – that is okay.
  8. Line a large surface with plastic wrap and dust lightly with a little extra flour.
  9. Gently shape dough into a rectangle and roll until your dough is about 6″x14″ or about 1/4″ thick.
  10. Season the dough by brushing on one tablespoon of olive oil, a little bit of sea salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes – this is optional but it adds to the flavor.
  11. Gently add the filling on top of the dough leaving 1/2″ border on all sides.
  12. If using the Parmesan cheese – add on top of the filling.
  13. Using the plastic wrap, gently lift it and begin to roll the dough (this helps with any sticking that would normally occur with out the plastic wrap and also helps prevent any tears in the dough.
  14. Once completely rolled up, gently cut the dough into six even pieces.
  15. Lightly grease (with cooking spray, olive oil, butter, etc.) a six cup muffin tin.
  16. Gently place each roll into a greased muffin cup – it is okay if they are not perfect. These are rustic savory rolls.
  17. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.
  18. Cool in pan for five minutes and serve warm with Feta Spread (see recipe below).

Feta Spread

This recipe is so simple – it has three (yes three!) ingredients and you can use it on so many things but I love it on a nice, fresh out of the oven, gluten-free roll.

There is no real set amounts for this spread, it’s all about personal preference – do you like it more spreadable? Then add more olive oil…need more garlic? Add in another cube, etc.

Simply combine the ingredients above in a small bowl until you reach your desired consistency and flavor profile. I like my with a bit more of feta flavor and a thick consistency so I add in a bit of feta (4 ounces or so), a cube of the crushed garlic, and about a tablespoon of olive oil…again this is all personal preference but it goes oh so well with these rolls!

Thank you to the lovely people over at Dorot! I greatly enjoyed working with your products.

Spicy Thai Coconut Soup with Shrimp and Chicken

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I just completed my winter term of school and about to begin my spring term which also happens to be my last term of academics before graduating! I can’t believe that in 78 days (yes I am counting) I will walk across the stage at graduation and receive my degree in Culinary Nutrition from Johnson & Wales University. This is a dream come true. All of the hard work, sacrifices, and dedication during these last three years will be worth that moment. This is a day I never thought I would see, especially at the age of 32! Even though this journey has been difficult and I have missed out on many things, I know it is all worth it. Without the support of my family and friends I know I wouldn’t be here and to them, I am truly thankful.

In my last post I mentioned that I have been MIA from here for a while because I have been applying to Dietetic Internship programs. This is a pretty competitive process and I have given my all in these applications and the three years leading up to them. I will be notified on April 6th if I have been selected or not. Until then, it is a waiting game that is completely out of my control. I am hoping for the best and if selected I will give this program my all. If I am not selected, I will continue to work hard and apply again next year.

Thank you all for your support, encouragement, and for being faithful followers and readers of Creative Cooking Gluten Free over these last six years. Thank you for understanding that I am only one person and cannot post daily on here. Between school, work, homework, and volunteering, I just do not always have the time. I hope to be better about it this term however, and provide you all with some new delicious gluten-free and allergy-friendly recipes.

Below is a recipe I created this past term at school – it is originally designed for an athlete on a heavy training day so I had to adjust the amounts to work for everyone. Please feel free to adjust the spice level to your liking and you can always switch out the shrimp and chicken for more veggies if you prefer.

Spicy Thai Coconut Soup with Shrimp and Chicken

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Ingredients:

Amount                                   Ingredient

  • 1 pound                                     Shrimp, large, cleaned, deveined, shells removed and set aside
  • 6 cups                                       Stock, seafood, chicken, or vegetable
  • 1 pound                                     Chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • 1/3 cup                                      Mushrooms, crimini, shitake, etc., sliced
  • 1/4 cup                                     Carrots, julienned
  • 1/4 cup                                     Zucchini, julienned
  • 2 cans                                      Coconut Milk, full fat
  • 1/2 cup                                     Rice, White or Basmati, uncooked
  • 2 inches                                   Ginger, cut in half
  • 3 cloves                                    Garlic, smashed
  • 2 small                                     Lime, juice and zest (save one lime for garnish)
  • 6  medium                                Thai Chili Peppers, cut 3-4 in half (for less spice remove seeds)
  • 2-3 tablespoons                        Cilantro, chopped or torn
  • 2 tablespoons                           Scallions, sliced on a diagonal
  • 2 teaspoons                             Salt, Kosher (more to taste if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons                          Oil of your choice (Olive, Canola, etc.)

Method of Preparation:

  1.  Gather all ingredients and equipment.
  2.  Clean, devein shrimp, and save shells. Set aside cleaned shrimp
  3.  Slice chicken breast into thin strips and set aside.
  4.  Clean mushrooms, and slice thin and set aside.
  5.  Wash carrots and zucchini, julienne, and set aside.
  6.  In a high sided sauté pan heat oil over medium heat.
  7.  Add shrimp shells and cook for five minutes.
  8. Add in ginger, garlic, lime, and Thai chili pepper(s) and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  9. Add stock and simmer for 15 minutes over low heat.
  10. Strain stock and discard any solids.
  11. Return stock to pan and bring to a boil.
  12. Add mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini and cook for one minute, remove and set aside
  13. Add rice, cover pan and cook for 15 minutes or until tender.
  14. Stir in coconut milk and mix until incorporated and all solids have dissolved.
  15. Turn heat to medium low, add in chicken, and shrimp. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until proteins are cooked throughout.
  16. Return the vegetables to the pan and stir well.
  17. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  18. Serve in a bowl with a slice of lime fresh Thai chili pepper(s), and chopped cilantro.
  19. Hold at 135° or warmer.

Stay Tuned…

I want to apologize for my absence on here lately. The last few months have been very busy with school, work, and applying for Dietetic Internship positions which would begin this fall.

The applications have been submitted and I hope to hear some really good results come April 6th! Final exams for this term are next week, so I promise to be back shortly with some delicious recipes for all of you.

Thank you for your patience.

Jenny

Peppermint “Hot Chocolate” Cookies {Good Cook Virtual Cookie Exchange}

The awesome bloggers and kitchen experts at Good Cook are hosting a Sweet Creations Virtual Cookie Exchange. Each of us that participated received a huge box filled with two cookie sheets, a cookie turner, sweet mixing bowls, cookie dropper/scoop, high temp rubber spatula, and a set of 12 cookie cutters pretty much everything you need to bake some delicious cookies. We were asked to use at least one of the items listed above in our recipe…I chose to use the cookie turner, cookie dropper, and cookie sheet…all of which were awesome! these sheet trays are some of my favorites and that cookie scoop is perfect – so easy to use, nothing got stuck to it, and the cookies came out pretty uniform.

964334_10151833454178848_1596390271_oI’m not going to lie…I am not the best baker due to the fact that measurements really do have to be precise, hence why I cook. I find that my creativity comes out more in cooking rather than baking and I utilize my other senses of smell, sight, and touch with cooking if I can’t taste something (basically in school if something isn’t gluten-free). When it comes to come up with an original recipe without looking at others for inspiration. I have to say thought I think I did rather well with this recipe. I just looked at some “regular” cookie recipes just to see what the ratios are and these came out pretty darn good.

As part of our virtual cookie exchange our readers are entitled to receive 5% off goodcook.com for any sweet creations products by entering the code: COOKIES during check out. Also be sure to check out the Good Cook to like these cookies (or any others) and be entered to be one of 10 lucky winners that will receive a great gift prize from Sweet Creations/Good Cook! Be sure to head to Good Cook on December 18th to vote for your favorite cookie(s) and be entered to win one of 25 Sweet Creations Cooking Making Kits! Contests ends on December 31, 2013!

Peppermint “Hot Chocolate” Cookies

(Think of all the delicious goodies you put into hot chocolate – chocolate, peppermint, marshmallows and wrap those up into one delicious cookie)

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Yield: 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Sugar (granulated)
  • 3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup/stick Unsalted Butter
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 cup Blanched Almond Four
  • 1 cup Gluten-free All Purpose Flour (Cup4Cup) (if your mix does not have xanthan gum in it add 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Marshmallows (or mini ones, cut in half)
  • 1 cup Chopped Peppermint Chocolate (I used Chocolove, you can always add 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract instead)
  • 2 Candy Canes – crushed

Method of Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer add granulated sugar, brown, sugar, butter, and egg. Mix on low-medium until creamed together.
  3. While the sugar, butter, and eggs are creaming together, add the almond flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, and mix until there are no lumps (a fork works just fine for this).
  4. Turn mixer to low and gently add dry ingredients. The dough will be a bit stiff.
  5. Add chopped marshmallows and chocolate chunks, mix until incorporated.
  6. Place unwrapped candy canes into a zip lock back and using a rolling pin, crush the candy canes until they are in small bits.
  7. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Using the cookie dropper scoop 6 cookies on to each tray, gently press down each cookie.
  9. Top each cookie with a sprinkle of candy cane bits
  10. Bake for 12 minutes – turning half way through.
  11. Let cool on pan for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  12. Serve warm with a glass of soy milk (or which ever milk you prefer).

Chef’s Note: the addition of the almond flour and marshmallow gives these cookies a nice little chew to them…they are a great mixture of crunchy and chewy cookies with a delicate peppermint flavor.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review – I was provided products for review from Good Cook. Please note that the opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by outside sources of any kind.

#goodcookcom #goodcookkitchenexpert #goodcookblogger #sweetcreations

Turkey, Apple, and Cheddar Fritters {Good Cook}

IMG_8420_7995I hope you guys were able to attend the Good Cook Twitter Party that happened last Monday evening! There were so awesome prizes given out. The wonderful people behind Good Cook came up with an idea to share Thanksgiving leftover recipes (101+ recipes! Check them out HERE) with all of you, and I am excited to take part in this. I traveled this year for Thanksgiving but still made a delicious meal for Bryan and I. The sad part is, I wasn’t able to travel with any of my awesome goodies from Good Cook so I made sure to bring home some leftovers in order to make this recipe.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love cooking a huge meal for family and friends. Someday when I have a house, my door will be open to those in need. It make me upset to think of those without, especially on days like Thanksgiving. Growing up my family wasn’t rich by any means, but we always had each other. My grandfather was a member of the Knights of Columbus and I remember getting a Thanksgiving meal from them every year. It had the works…a turkey, stuffing, canned goods, etc. They even gave us Christmas presents every year. I will forever be grateful to my grandfather and the KoC for their charity.

Last year for my internship at school, instead of opting to take the traditional route and work in a kitchen, I chose to work with the community service department on campus and spent my days cooking for people in need. My favorite days were those where I got to cook at the Providence Ronald McDonald House and a local soup kitchen in Providence. Food makes people happy and everyone deserves food. In addition to that the community service department each year puts on a Thanksgiving dinner for those in need at the school – it was amazing being part of something like that and was sad I wasn’t able to help out this year.

I was trying to hard to figure out what to make with my leftovers – trying to be creative isn’t easy I tell ya. I finally came up with an idea to do fritters. I had taken home turkey and cranberry sauce (all I could really fit in my carry on). I had some extra sharp cheddar cheese, and an apple so thought I would throw those in as well. These little fritters are mighty tasty and awesome fall flavor to them. Check out the recipe below:

Turkey, Apple, and Cheddar Fritters

1/2 cup diced Turkey Meat

1/4 cup shredded or diced Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1/4 cup diced Apple (granny smith, fuji, etc.)

1 cup Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour or Pancake batter (both work great)
1/2  teaspoon Xantan Gum (only if your mix does not already have it in there)
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder (only if your mix does not already have it in there)
2  Eggs (or 1/2 cup Eggbeaters)
6  tablespoons Milk (Cow, Soy, Nut, or Hemp)
1  tablespoon Feiny’s Veggie Rub
1/2 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper

Cranberry Sauce – homemade, canned, etc.

Directions

  1. Preheat fryer to 350•F or in a medium skillet add 1/4-1/2 cup oil and heat over medium heat to shallow fry instead of deep frying.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together all of the wet ingredients until well combined.
  4. Slowly add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Drop batter by the spoonful and cook until golden brown on all sides.
  6. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  7. Do not over crowed the fryer or pan.
  8. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel lined dish.
  9. Repeat process with remaining batter.
  10. Serve warm.
  11. Hold in a warm oven in a Good Cook Brownie Pan or Cookie Sheet at about 200•F if needed.
  12. Serve in a Good Cook Pie Pan lined with parchment paper.
  13. Serve with cranberry sauce.

Olio d’oliva Pagnotta Senza Glutine {Sweet Creations}

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I’m loving the Nonstick Mini Loaf Pan from Good Cook! You can do so much with this pan, and I know this will come in handy next Easter as I continue to work on converting my Grandmother’s Easter bread recipe (it is not Easter without this bread!). For now however I was asked to “Be a Sweetie” and make a Sweet Creation with this pan. I was a bit indecisive on what to make because there are so many options…did I want to make meatloaf? Something sweet? Savory?  I finally decided on a combination of sweet and savory…a take on an Italian classic; Olio d’oliva Pagnotta – Olive Oil Loaf. Most recipes I have seen or made in the past are made with lemons, however substituted organic Valencia oranges instead and added a nice little crunch of pine nuts (another Italian classic).

The pan is great – you can make four mini loaves of whatever your heart desires which is perfect for any holiday because these little loaves make awesome presents! I’ll be bringing my extra loves into work to share.

 Olio d’oliva Pagnotta Senza Glutine  (Gluten Free Olive Oil Loaf)

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Ingredients

  • 2 Eggs (large)
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar + 2 Tablespoons (divided)
  • Zest of 1 large Valencia Orange (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Orange Juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 3/4 Cup Olive Oil (make sure its a good one)
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Flour (I use Cup4Cup)
  • 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts

Glaze (Optional)

  • 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Orange Juice

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400•F
  2. In a large bowl add eggs and 1/2 cup of sugar – beat with a wire whisk until pale and you see a bit of foam.
  3. Add orange zest, , salt, orange juice, and olive oil.
  4. Beat with wire whisk until well combined.
  5. Add baking powder and gluten-free flour, mix with a rubber spatula to combine all ingredients well.
  6. Add 1/3 cup of mixture into each of the four wells of the pan.
  7. Top each loaf well with even amounts of sugar and pine nuts.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes – turning 1/2 way through to ensure even browning.
  9. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  10. If using a glaze – prepare it now: in a small bowl add powdered sugar and orange juice, mix until well combined and drizzle over warm loaves.
  11. Enjoy!

IMG_8295_7876(Check out the super cute White Snow Flake parchment paper – also included in the giveaway below!)

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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review – I was provided products for review from Good Cook. Please note that the opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by outside sources of any kind. Good Cook has kindly offered one Creative Cooking Gluten Free reader the chance to win one Nonstick Mini Loaf Pan and Decorate Parchment Paper (great for wrapping up the loaves!). Winner will be chosen using random.org and will have 48 hours to respond. If no response is received, another winner will be chosen.

Ginger-Spiced Roasted Pumpkin & A Good Cook Twitter Party!

I am loving being a kitchen expert and blogger for Good Cook. I have the pleasure of playing with lots of great items and reviewing them. Recently we were sent a box filled with all of these amazing tools to help us get through the Thanksgiving holiday with items like a roasting pan, turkey platter, turkey injector, brine bag, and SO much more! Are you interested in winning this and more? If so keep on reading.

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Come Join Me, Good Cook, TheFrugalMom and other Good Cook Kitchen Experts! The Ultimate Thanksgiving Twitter Party, Monday, November 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm to 7:00pm EST On Twitter with hashtag #Thanksgivingtips.

Join in as we talk about everything Thanksgiving from turkey prep to decorating the table.  Plus get a chance to win a special gift and one of three $200 Thanksgiving Baskets that will arrive in time for your dinner. Be among the first 500 to RSVP by November 23, 2013 and receive a free set of Turkey Lifters. Click here RSVP.

All of the experts were asked to create a delicious pumpkin dish to share with everyone. I’m not the biggest sweets fan so I went for a savory dish and really…it could be two dishes in one.  I work at a natural foods store here in Rhode Island – it is an awesome little shop owned by and amazing couple who have become like family. All produce is organic – and as often as it can be, local. There are no artificial colors, sweeteners, HFCS, or GMO’s anywhere in the store! We also have (in my opinion) the best selection of gluten-free and allergen friendly items on the island. Needless to say I get a bit spoiled working here, and I hope wherever I end up next I can find a place like this. One of the items that we brought in for the holiday season was ginger curd. When walking past it yesterday I knew I had to incorporate it some how…I could have easily done a pie with this but again, I wanted savory. So I bought that and a pumpkin and headed home after my shift to create a delicious side dish that is suitable for vegetarians as well. I cut up the pumpkin using the Pumpkin Scoop (available at walmart) and the Good Cook Brownie Pan roasted it off with a delicious glaze made from the ginger curd, and the house smelt amazing! Best part is – you can puree this up with a little bit of stock (vegetable or chicken) and it makes a delicious soup as well…like I said, two recipes in one!

The Pumpkin Scoop is awesome – Its round with one edge being smooth and another edge that is serrated, and the handle has a serrated knife it in. The scoop is also great for removing the seeds and cleaning out other various squashes as well, and of course for pumpkin carving. The Brownie Pan is non stick and is just wonderful…nothing and I mean nothing stuck to this thing (as with most non-stick items wash by hand, it is not dishwasher safe. This helps maintain the quality and longevity of the pan).  Check out the recipe below

Ginger-Spiced Roasted Pumpkin

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Ingredients
  • 1 2-3 pound Pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup Ginger Curd
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (all depends on your spice level)
Method of Preparation
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Cut pumpkin in half
  3. Using the pumpkin scoop, remove the seeds (roast or discard)
  4. Cut pumpkin into quarters and peel skin off and discard
  5. Dice pumpkin into 1 inch cubes and set aside
  6. In a large bowl mix together the ginger curd, olive oil, slat, cumin, and cayenne pepper (adjust seasoning to taste), mix until well combined
  7. Add diced pumpkin and toss to evenly coat.
  8. Add the pumpkin to the brownie pan and roast for 25 minutes
  9. Remove from oven and gently toss pumpkin
  10. Return to oven and roast for an additional 20-25 minutes or until browned.
  11. Serve warm and enjoy!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review – I was provided products for review from Good Cook. Please note that the opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by outside sources of any kind.

Mini Gluten-Free Stuffed Pizzas ~ Good Cook “Sweet Creations”

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I recently joined the Good Cook Blogger team and I am loving it! I get to pay with so many great products, create delicious gluten-free recipes, write about them and share my honest opinions with all of you – as always these opinions are 100% my own.

Below is my first creation with the Good Cook products. I was given a choice of packages that included many great things like whoopie pie pans, dough cutters, etc. However, I opted for one that included a cookie sheet, cookie cutter, squeeze bottles ~such versatile products! I had been craving pizza lately so I decided to make some mini gluten-free stuffed pizzas with mini pepperoni, baby spinach, mozzarella, and sauce (it was a mini themed event!) These little creations would be great to get your kids involved with as well. Easy to make, fun to put together, and you can even par bake them, freeze individually, and then pop in the toaster oven – makes a great afternoon snack.

Mini Gluten-Free Stuffed Pizzas

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1 Gluten-Free Pizza Dough Recipe (use your favorite recipe…I used the Cup4Cup Pizza Mix)

1/4 cup Marinara Sauce

2 tablespoons Mini Pepperoni (Hormel makes these cute little things, and they are gluten-free!)

1/8 cup Baby Spinach, Chopped

1/4 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

Equipment Needed:

Sweet Creations Cookie Sheet

Parchment Paper or Silicone Baking Sheet

Sweet Creations Cookie Cutters

Method of Preparation

  1. Pre Heat oven to 500○
  2. Prepare pizza crust according to recipe or package
  3. Roll crust to 1/8 inch – when working with gluten-free pizza dough (pie dough etc.) it is best to place it between two sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap to roll out. You can also use a silicone baking sheet and plastic wrap.
  4. Using the cookie cutter (any shape works, but I loved the fluted square one for this) cut out 16 pieces of dough (this was 95% of the dough that the mix made).
  5. Place 8 of the cut pieces of dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet
  6. Evenly distribute the sauce onto each piece of pizza dough
  7. Top with mini pepperoni, chopped baby spinach, and mozzarella cheese.
  8. Take the remaining 8 pieces of pizza dough cutouts and place them on top of the pizza dough and press edges down to seal (you can also use a fork to press seal the edges)
  9. Lightly brush the tops of each mini pizza with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt
  10. Bake at 500○ for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  11. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Serve with a side of warm marinara sauce.

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Be sure to check out Good Cook’s website, facebook, twitter, and pinterest!

Thanks again to Good Cook for the awesome equipment to play with! #sweetcreations #goodcookkitchenexpert

Chai Pumpkin Cheesecake

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I know that pumpkin flavored everything is everywhere right now but I received some amazing spices from The Spice House for a 37 Cooks challenge and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make another pumpkin recipe. This one combines two of my favorite fall beverages…a Tazo Chai Tea and Pumpkin Spice Latte. All I did was take my pumpkin cheesecake recipe and added a little bit of the The Spice House Chai seasoning – perfect combination. Great fall recipe and if made in the cupcake format (see below) they are a suitable portion size! Try these out instead of your traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

Chai Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes

2 cups of gluten free gingersnap crumbs

6 tablespoons melted butter

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 8oz packages of 1/3 fat cream cheese – softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 15oz can of organic pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)

1  teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

3/4 teaspoon chai spice

1/4 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 eggs at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake tins with paper liners. I only have one regular cupcake tin and an mini cupcake tin, so I used both.

Crust:

Crumble the ginger snaps either in a plastic ziplock back with a rolling pin or in a food processor. Melt the butter in the microwave. Add the brown sugar and butter to the crumbled ginger snaps in a medium bowl and mix until all crumbs are moist.

Scoop about one table spoon into the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down (I used the bottom of one of my spice jars…it fits perfectly for the regular tins, for the mini tin I used the back of my coffee scoop).

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, let cool in pan on wire rack.

Filling:

In a stand mixer, cream the sugar and cream cheese together until smooth, add the pumpkin puree, vanilla, pumpkin spice, chai seasoning, and salt. Mix well. Add one egg at a time. Continue to mix until the mixture is completely combined and smooth.

Scoop the mixture into the prepared cupcake liners. I used the same coffee scoop that I used to press the crust into the bottom to do this. It was the perfect size – three scoops for the regular tin and 1 1/2 – 2 for the mini ones.

For the regular tins bake for 40 minutes, rotating 180 degrees half way through. For the mini tins bake for 30 minutes, rotating 180 degrees half way through.Cool in the pan on a wire rack until completely cooled, cover and refrigerate for at least six hours.

Top with whipped cream, caramel sauce or candied pecans if you wish. I hope you enjoy these tasty little treats!

National Celiac Awareness Day {Giveaway from Luna Bars}

Celebrate Celiac Awareness Day 2012

If you didn’t know already today Friday September 13th is National Celiac Awareness Day!!

Have you seen this awesome infographic yet? I LOVE this and share it as much as I can…Thanks to Gluten Dude for making this and sharing it with everyone.

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Here are some facts (from The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness website):

Celiac and Gluten-Free Fast Facts:

  • Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.
  • An estimated 1 in 133 Americans, or about 1% of the population, has celiac disease.
  • Celiac disease can affect men and women across all ages and races.
  • It is estimated that 83% of Americans who have celiac disease are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions.
  • 6-10 years is the average time a person waits to be correctly diagnosed. (Source: Daniel Leffler, MD, MS, The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center)
  • 5-22% of celiac patients have an immediate family member (1st degree relative) who also has celiac.
  • Celiac disease can lead to a number of other disorders including infertility, reduced bone density, neurological disorders, some cancers, and other autoimmune diseases.
    Learn more about Related Diseases »
  • Burden of disease over four-year period per patient:
    • Females: $4,019
    • Males:  $14,191
      (Source: Long et al, 2010)
  • There are NO pharmaceutical cures for celiac disease.
  • A 100% gluten-free diet is the only existing treatment for celiac today. Get gluten-free recipes and tips on where to shop »
  • A positive attitude, 100% of the time, helps celiacs create a gluten-free lifestyle for themselves and their affected family members.
  • The celiac disease diagnosis rate may reach 50-60% by 2019, thanks to efforts to raise public awareness of celiac disease. (Source: Datamonitor Group, 2009)
  • Gluten-free sales reached more than $2.6 billion by the end of 2010 and are now expected to exceed more than $5 billion by 2015. (Source: Packaged Facts, 2011)

Could you have celiac disease? Find out. Take our celiac disease symptoms checklist now.

Here are some great tips and suggestions for ways to raise awareness:

1. Share with others…

  • Share your story with those around you
  • Share the NFCA’s Celiac Disease Symptoms Checklist
  • Share your favorite gluten-free website, blog, recipe, snacks, etc.

2. Try something new…

3. Educate yourself and others…

  • Download, Print, and Share the NFCA’s printable guides (http://www.celiaccentral.org/printables/)
  • Stay Up To Date with the latest research being done on Celiac Disease (http://www.celiaccentral.org/researchnews/)
  • Talk to your family members about getting tested for Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease is a genetic autoimmune disease and the NFCA has some tools to help you get the conversation started (http://www.celiaccentral.org/familytalk/)
  • It is Celiac Disease not Celiacs or Celiac’s Disease
  • Celiac Disease is not a food allergy, however wheat allergy is. Although they can be similar and often confused they are actually quiet different. Below is a little exert from a research paper I wrote last term on Celiac Disease vs. Wheat Allergy:

“Many confuse celiac disease and wheat allergy because they are similar in several ways. Both celiac disease and wheat allergy have similar signs and symptoms including diarrhea, abdominal pain, skin reactions, and cramping. However, in many important ways they are different. While both stem from a reaction to wheat, these reactions are actually very different. Wheat allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to a certain protein found in food, in this case wheat. Meanwhile celiac disease is a digestive disease which can lead to serious malnutrition and damage of the small intestine if not properly treated (About Food Allergies: Wheat Allergy). The villi, located in small intestine, can take anywhere from two months to three years to fully heal if a strict gluten-free diet is followed (“Celiac Disease”). Individuals with celiac disease often suffer from nutritional deficiencies, while those with wheat allergy do not. This is because of the damage that untreated celiac disease can cause on the small intestine (“Celiac Disease”). Another risk for those with celiac disease is the chance of developing other autoimmune related conditions such as type 1 diabetes, colitis, and various types of cancer. Those who suffer from wheat allergies do not have such concerns because it is an allergy and not an autoimmune disorder (Pietzak 73S).”

4. Wear Green…

  • Green is the color for Celiac Disease (and my personal favorite color!)
  • Don’t forget to wear your green tomorrow and share your picture on the NFCA’s Facebook page (www.facebook.comNFCeliacAwareness).

Now on to the giveaway!

Have you tried LUNA bars yet? They are delicious and I am loving the protein bars…perfect for me being on the go so much and not having a chance to cook much with my crazy schedule that that school has started up. I keep a bar in my back pack but you can always keep them in the glove compartment, office desk, etc.! The Chocolate Peanut Butter and Mint Chocolate Chip are my favorites.

Luna has generously offered one reader a sampling of their awesome protein bars. One winner will receive a box of LUNA Protein bars in a flavor of their choice. Even if you’re not directly affected by the disease,  LUNA Protein bars are a great way to enjoy gluten-free snacking on Celiac Awareness Day and beyond! LUNA Protein bars are available in 5 delicious flavors and contain:

  • Less than 200 calories
  • 12 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber
  • Core 4 nutrients: calcium, iron, vitamin D and folic acid

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To enter the giveaway please follow the instructions below:

1) Each person can have a maximum 8 entries

2) You must leave a separate comment below for each entry

3) You have until 11:59 pm on Friday September 20th to enter the giveaway

4) Giveaway is open to those in the continental United States

5) Winner will be chosen using Random.org and winner will be notified via e-mail.

6) Winner will have 48 hours to respond to e-mail, if no response is received another winner will be chosen.

ENTRIES:

1) What will you do or have you done to raise awareness today?  (Mandatory Comment)

2) Like LUNA Bars on Facebook

3) Follow LUNA Bars on Twitter

4) Like NFCA on Facebook

5) Follow NFCA on Twitter

6) Like CCGF on Facebook

7) Follow CCGF on Twitter

8) Share this post on your social media sites – twitter (be sure to mention @Creatively_GF, @LUNABar and @CeliacAwareness and use #celiacawareness), Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

Good luck to all who enter! Happy National Celiac Awareness Day

I was sent LUNA bars free of charge for a review directly from LUNA. The reviews express above are 100% mine.