Applesauce and then some

It was a great weekend.  Saturday I got to spend a bit of time with my cousin Dianne who is getting married in a few weeks.  We went and checked out her wedding and ceremony site – The Aldrich Mansion in Warwick, RI. I loved being able to see the place before the wedding to scope out some great photo spots (I’m her wedding photographer!).  Then Bryan bought me two more pieces for my Le Creuset collection.

Before moving up to Rhode Island I found two Le Creuset pie dishes (cobalt blue that match my free Le Creuset tea-pot!) which had never been used by his mum so she gave them to me! A few weeks ago when we were at T.J. Maxx we found a bunch of Le Creuset pieces in cobalt and apple green (those are our kitchen colors – sadly though Le Creuset doesn’t make the apple green anymore so it is very hard to find pieces) so he bought me an apple green utensil holder and a cobalt baking dish.  On Saturday he bought me four apple green ramekins and an apple green baking dish. I truly love being able to find such amazing products for so little. Then yesterday Bryan and I went apple picking and we came home with about 10lbs of macintosh and cortland apples – my two favorites for baking.

I’ll be making him some mini-apple pies this weekend in medium-sized ramekins and using the pre-made pie crusts from the store.  For myself some more apple crisp sounds pretty good, I’m telling you its my weakness.  I wanted to try something different though, I wanted to make something I have never made before so I decided to try my hand at making apple sauce…in my 1970’s crock pot that Bryan’s mum gave us when we moved.

I don’t think I ever realized how easy it was to make applesauce, especially if you have a crock pot.  I need to put this crock pot to use more often, especially now that the cool weather is approaching.  I’m thinking chili sometime soon would be good!

Applesauce

5 medium to large apples – I used a mix of macintosh and cortland

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup honey (or you could use agave)

1/2-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (all depends on how much you like the cinnamon flavor in your applesauce)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Peel, core and dice the apples in large pieces – discard the peels and cores.  Add all ingredients to crock pot and set on low for about 4-5 hours.  Apples will become extremely soft/mushy.  Mash apples with a fork or potato masher and enjoy!  Keep in an airtight container for up to one week.

Extremely easy to make, throw it all in the pot and come back in a few hours for some very tasty (if I do say so myself) applesauce! Best part – it is naturally gluten-free🙂

Now for the “And then some” part of the title of this post

By now many if not all of you have probably heard of  The Gluten Free Girl and the Chef’s new cookbook “The Gluten Free Girl and the Chef – A love story and 100 tempting recipes“.  If you haven’t well what are you waiting for?? Check out these amazing reviews (and many of them if not all are doing give aways of the book also!).  I haven’t bought my copy yet but it is on my Amazon Wish list!! I can’t even begin to explain the mouth-watering reviews that I have read, but they all talk about the bread recipe that is in the new book and I am dying to try it.  Please check out the reviews/giveaways below:

Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom

Ginger Lemon Girl

Celiac in the City

Celiacs in the House

So go, read, drool and enter for your chance to win a copy of this book…if you don’t win then go and buy it!

And on another side note, I would like to thank the wonderful people at Small Appliances for my amazingly wonderful new Coffee and Espresso Machine!  I’ve had some major coffee pot issues lately, my french press broke (shed a tear) and then when we moved in my dad gave me back “my” (it wasn’t mine, no idea where this pot came from but I gave mine away when I moved to California) old coffee pot.  So when my french press broke I started using that one.  It worked fine at first even though the top of the carafe was broken and I bought the wrong filters until one day it just decided it wouldn’t drip down any longer.  I had to take hot water, put the cup under it and hold up the part that makes it drip – seriously.  I posted on twitter that my half working pot had completely broke and the extremely kind and generous people at Small Appliances contacted me and offered me a new coffee pot.  I seriously thought it was a joke and if it wasn’t I was expecting some little four cup mr. coffee.  Instead they sent me the Krups Coffee/Espresso machine below!  I can’t thank them enough for their generosity!  So if you are in the need of any  appliances check them out!

P.F. Chang’s Shanghai Cucumbers

We love P.F. Chang’s Shanghai Cucumbers and on September 13th – National Celiac Awareness Day they celebrated by the release of a new gluten free dessert. They also shared two of their gluten free recipes- Mongolian Beef and the Shanghai Cucumbers.

I have made these twice in the last two days. The are a great light and refreshing side dish. Great recipe that is extremely easy and quick to make.

Gluten Free Shanghai Cucumbers
12 oz peeled and seeded cucumbers, cut into 1 inch pieces
1.5 oz gluten free soy sauce
W1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Mix together the sauce ingredients. Mix sauce together with cucumbers and sprinkle sesame seeds over the top.

Enjoy!

(sent from wordpress for blackberry)

Blueberry and Raspberry Galette

Fall is almost here. The air is chilly and crisp.  I’m ready to go apple picking in the next few weeks and of course can’t wait to go to the pumpkin patch so Bryan and I can carve them.  This time of year also means lots and lots of baking.  I love having the oven on to help balance out the chill in the house.

Last night I made Bryan some blueberry muffins and today I woke up in the baking mood again.  Seeing as I am still unemployed, what else am I to do besides cook and bake tasty things for Bryan.  Last week I made him a gluten filled apple pie and posted a photo of it on Facebook.  Everyone got all excited because it looked sooo yummy and I sadly had to post under the photo that it wasn’t gluten-free.  Oh but how I wish it was because that pie crust looked so good.  I decided that I would start trying other pie crust recipes and I hope to create a nice flaky one at some point.  I did some searching around for an easy gluten-free pie crust recipe.  I found some recipes with horrible reviews so I stayed clear of those.  I did find one little gem in my searching today – Carrie of Ginger Lemon Girl has a fantastic Easy Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe on her blog.   Not too many ingredients and I just so happened to have them all on hand.

Even though I was searching for a gluten-free pie crust recipe I had in my head that I wanted to make a galette – a bit more rustic than a pie.  So I made her super simple recipe and decided to cut the dough in half and freeze the other half for another day.  Like I said this was super simple to make and pretty easy to work with.  She even put a disclaimer under the recipe.  When I first rolled it out and tried to lift it on to my baking sheet it all fell apart so I just wrapped it tightly in plastic wrap and put in the freezer for a few minutes to harden just a bit.

*** Please be aware that because the dough does not contain gluten it may STILL tear while you are transferring it to the pie tin. That is OKAY!! This dough is very forgiving and you can simply press the dough back together in the pie tin and even “patch” the dough if necessary with leftover crust! It will “mesh” together beautifully and is very, very forgiving!! ***

I’ve been asked several times today “What is a Galette?”  In simple terms it is a free form pie, but here is an official definition:

Galette is a general term used in French to designate various types of flat, round or freeform crusty cakes. One notable type is the galette des Rois (King cake) eaten on the day of Epiphany. It is frequently garnished with egg, meat, fish, cheese, cut vegetables, apple slices, berries, or similar ingredients.

Ginger Lemon Girl’s Easy Gluten Free Pie Crust

4 ounces cream cheese **
4 ounces (1/2 cup, or 1 stick) butter**
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Directions:

*30 minutes before making pie crust, remove butter and cream cheese from fridge and set on counter to soften.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix together softened cream cheese and butter. Mix remaining dry ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. Add dry mixture slowly to cream cheese mixture. If you use a stand mixer this will be easy, and you can slowly combine the ingredients on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until dough forms a stiff ball. If mixing by hand, this may take 5-8 minutes to combine well enough to form into a stiff ball.

You can chill dough if you like, but you can also use this dough immediately. When ready to use dough, place two sheets of a good quality plastic wrap on your counter or table. Place the sheets of plastic wrap side by side, slightly overlapping, to give you enough space to roll out a 9″or 10″ crust. Sprinkle white rice flour on the plastic wrap and place the dough in the center.

Sprinkle additional white rice flour on top of the ball of dough. Then, place a new sheet of plastic wrap on top of the ball of dough (so it won’t stick to the roller) and start to roll out your pie crust starting from the center. Roll out the crust to 1/4″ thickness, or however thick you desire. I actually had enough dough to make a large 10″ pie crust along with a smaller 8″ pie crust. So you could probably make 2 (9″) crusts with this dough if you desired.

Gently place crust in pie or tart shell and bake as directed in your recipe of choice.

I prepared the crust per her instructions.  Then I rolled out half of the dough into a 8 inch circle, sprinkled the dough with a cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Added my berries (1/2 cup of small blueberries and 3/4 cup of raspberries) to the center of the dough and gently started to fold up the sides.  This is a rustic free form pie, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.  If you need to use cold water to seal the dough folds together.  I didn’t need to use water, but did need to patch my dough a little bit.  Once it was all together, I sprinkled the top lightly with sugar and baked at 400 degrees for 40 minutes (if you making a larger galette, you may need to cook it a bit longer).

Apple Crisp (Take Two)

Apple Crisp – ready to be baked

Almost two years ago now I posted about my love of the Fall and apple crisp and today I would like to revisit that post.  Fall is almost here and I couldn’t be more excited.  We even bought our first pumpkins of the season the other day…they may be mini pumpkins, but they are still perfect little pumpkins.  I haven’t lived on the East Coast during the Fall in five years – which may not seem like all that long but when this is your favorite time of year and you are living in Central California where there is no fall you miss it more than words can express.

I have already scoped out all the apple orchards near us, along with a corn maze and a pick your own pumpkin patch – seriously you would think I’m five years old with the amount of excitement that I get.  Nope, I’m just 100% dork when it comes to this time of year.  Can’t wait for the sweaters to be pulled out, the crisp air and crunch leaves as they fall down.  Cool walks, hot apple cider and of course some warm out of the oven apple crisp! The colors of Fall are by far my favorite colors of any of the seasons.  The deep reds, oranges, greens and yellows make the most beautiful combination to me.  I can’t wait for all the beautiful orange roses to be on display too.  I keep asking Bryan that when we get married, can it please be in the fall, I can’t imagine being married during any other time of the year.  The fall just makes me happy and extremely excited.

The first thing I make every fall is Apple Crisp.  Beyond simple to make and probably one of my favorite desserts (okay I even eat it for breakfast – its fruits and oats right?!).  However, I have learned that Bryan isn’t a fan, but loves Apple Pie (which I’m not the biggest fan, I love the crunch of the crisp).  So seeing as I already made my first crisp I told him I would make him a gluten containing apple pie.  Seeing as the only flours we have in the house are gluten-free we picked up some pre-made pie crusts for him.  The sad thing is Bryan is allergic to raw apples.  He has Oral Allergy Syndrome:

Oral Allergy Syndrome is an allergy to certain raw fruits, vegetables, seeds, spices and nuts causing allergic reactions in the mouth and throat. These allergic reactions happen mostly in people with hayfever, especially spring hayfever due to birch pollen, and late summer hayfever due to ragweed pollen (Webmaster note: there is no ragweed pollen in British Columbia west of the Rockies).

An allergic reaction happens while eating the raw food, and causes itchy, tingly mouth, lips, throat and palate. There may be swelling of the lips, tongue and throat, and watery itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing. Handling the raw fruit or vegetable e.g., peeling it or touching the juice to the lips, may cause rash, itching or swelling where the juice touches the skin, or sneezing, runny nose and water eyes. Sometimes, more severe symptoms can happen such as vomiting, cramps, diarrhea and, on rare occasions, life threatening reactions with swelling of the throat, wheezing, trouble breathing and anaphylaxis.

These allergic reactions usually occur only when the food is raw. People who are allergic to the raw food can eat it cooked, canned, microwaved, processed or baked. For example, someone allergic to raw apples can eat apple sauce, apple jelly, apple juice, apple pie and dried apples. However, nuts may cause allergic reactions whether raw or cooked. This problem is usually life long. Allergy tests to these foods may sometimes be negative unless a fresh fruit is used for the test (instead of a commercial allergy extract). The allergic reaction to these foods can occur anytime of the year when eating the foods but can be worse during the pollen season and especially if hayfever is very troublesome that year.

The allergic reaction is not due to pesticides, chemicals or wax on the fruit. However, because the more allergic part of the fruit may be in the skin, some people allergic to fruits, e.g., peaches, can eat the flesh without reaction if the skin is peeled away. Similarly for apples, some brands of apples cause more allergic reactions than others. Freshly picked apple, e.g., straight from the tree or an unripe apple, may cause fewer allergic reactions than one which is very ripe or one which has been stored for weeks after picking.

Severe allergic reactions to foods causing Oral Allergy Syndrome are most likely to occur with celery, kiwi, peaches, apricots, apples and nuts, especially hazelnuts.

Management of Oral Allergy Syndrome

  1. These allergies are caused by the raw fruit or vegetable and therefore, once they are cooked or processed, they can usually be eaten.
  2. You do not need to avoid all the foods on the chart in the table above. Avoid only those particular ones which have caused allergic reactions.
  3. Be aware, however, that if you do have Oral Allergy Syndrome to some of the foods, you can develop allergies to other foods on the chart.
  4. If an allergic reaction occurs to one of these foods, stop eating it immediately. Severe reactions may happen if you keep eating that food. Allergic reactions may be treated with antihistamines.
  5. If you have had severe symptoms including trouble breathing, when eating the foods, you may need to carry injectable medication with you to treat these reactions (e.g., EpiPen®).
  6. For mild Oral Allergy Syndrome, try peeling the fruit, or eating unripe or partially ripe fruits, or picking them directly from the tree so that they are quite fresh. If you react, do not keep eating the food.
  7. Microwaving briefly to a temperature of 80°-90° C (176° – 194° deg F) may allow you to eat the food.
  8. Nuts which cause Oral Allergy Syndrome should be totally avoided, whether fresh or cooked, because of the higher risk of severe reactions.
  9. Allergy shots for hayfever may sometimes help associated food allergies.

Substitute Raw Fruits
Berries* (strawberry, blueberry, raspberries, etc.), citrus* (orange, mandarins, etc.), grapes, currants, gooseberries, guava, mango, figs, pineapple, papaya, avocado, persimmon, pomegranates, watermelon*.

Substitute Raw Vegetables
MUSTARD family (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, watercress, radish
GOOSEFOOT family (spinach, swiss chard)
COMPOSITE family (green onions)

Substitute Nuts
Peanut*, cashew, pistachio, brazil, macadamia, pine nut.

*May occasionally cause Oral Allergy Syndrome.

So on top of this allergy he also has an Onion Allergy – so  not only do we cook gluten-free but we also cook onion free in our house.  We also try to cook with minimal amount of dairy because he is also lactose intolerant.  Talk about Creative Cooking!

When people hear that I can’t have anything containing gluten they all pull the “oh I’m so sorry for you, how difficult that must be” or my favorite “I could NEVER live like that”, when in reality it isn’t that bad or hard to do.  But I feel even worse for Bryan than myself, because onion is in so many things – salsa sauces, dressings, etc.  And how sad is it, he can’t ever have a candy or caramel apple??  But we are both really good about our restrictions and have learned to adapt recipes to fit both of our needs.

Now back to the Apple Crisp.  In the original recipe I posted, I used almond flour/meal because I hadn’t discovered gluten-free oats.  Now that I have found gluten-free oats and have them on hand I can go back to my favorite apple crisp recipe from my Betty Crocker Cookbook (This was the first cookbook I ever bought myself). The original recipe calls for flour so  I made this one with Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour and it turned out great.  The only thing was I wanted this so badly that I should have waited until I had at least one more apple to cut up, but I was determined to make it so it wasn’t as full as it could have or should have been.

Apple Crisp – A Gluten Free Version of a Betty Crocker Classic

4 medium, tart cooking apples (I use Macintosh and Granny Smith) sliced or four cups

1/3 – 3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour

1/2 cup gluten-free quick-cooking or gluten-free old-fashioned oats

1/3 cup stick butter, softened

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease bottom and sides of square pan 8 x 8 x 2 inches, with shortening (butter, cooking spray)

2. Arrange apples in pan.  Mix remaining ingredients.  Sprinkle over apples.

3. Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender.  Serve warm and, if desired, with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.

You can also do the following substitutions:

Blueberry Crisp: substitute 4 cups fresh or frozen (thawed and drained) blueberries for the apples

Cherry Crisp: Substitute 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling for the apples and use 2/3 cup brown sugar.

Rhubarb Crisp: Substitute 4 cups cut-up rhubarb for the apples (or even better use half rhubarb and half the apples to make an apple-rhubarb crisp!

*read all labels and check with manufactures regarding if an item is gluten-free or not.

Sautéed Chicken in Mustard- Cream Sauce

I find it rather interesting that there are so many recipes out there that are naturally gluten-free but don’t carry the title.  My big thing when I was diagnosed in 2008 was determination to take these everyday recipes that you find in your cookbooks and cooking magazines and recreate them to be gluten-free, however with many of them there is no need because they already are gluten-free!  I don’t know about you, but I find that to be rather exciting.

I love the Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazines – I have about thirty of them (wish I had more!).  This is my go to magazine for recipe ideas – even before searching online I check these.  These magazines are jam-packed with great recipes that are not only easy to make but always turn out and taste fantastic.  These recipes are usually very easy to adapt if they do contain gluten and also easy to make other substitutions. For example for many of the recipes you can use chicken instead of shrimp (which you will see later this week) or vise versa.  I do the same thing with cookbooks as I do with cooking magazines; when I get them I go through the entire thing and put little tabs next to each recipe I want to try.

I’ve made this particular recipe a few times and have greatly enjoyed it each time.  Tonight I thought I would make it for Bryan seeing as he loves Dijon mustard.  While we were grocery shopping this weekend he really wanted to buy some peas – mind you I HATE peas, I always have since I was a little girl (I think I get this from my Aunt Sue).  I love green beans, snap peas edamame etc. but HATE peas.  However, I love Bryan enough to not only buy them but also give them a try, and yes, I sand by my previous hatred towards them.

Sautéed Chicken In Mustard-Cream SauceMartha Stewart Everyday Food Magazine Issue #3 page 58

(Serves 4 Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes)

1. Sprinkle 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each) – (I used two large chicken breast and butterflied them in half) with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add chicken; saute until cooked through, 10-12 minutes, turning once.  Transfer to a plate; keep warm.

2. Pour 1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth into hot skillet; cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Whisk in 1/2 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, and 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh).  Cook, whisking until thickened, about 2 minutes. 

3. Pour any accumulated chicken juices into sauce.  Right before serving, drizzle the cream sauce over the chicken.

Great Combination: This classic French combination of ingredients also makes an excellent sauce for fish, such as seared salmon and trout.

I served our chicken with mustard-cream sauce with sautéed mushrooms, peas and mixed greens with a light balsamic dressing.


Ellie’s Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

One of my favorite chefs on the Food Network (and now The Cooking Channel) is Ellie Krieger.  She is fantastic and her food is healthy!  If you don’t know who Ellie is you should try to catch one of her shows on the previous mentioned channels.  Here is a small blurb about her from Wikipedia:

Ellie Krieger is the host of a show on the Food Network called Healthy Appetite. She is also an author and has written several books on healthy eating.

Krieger was a fashion model during her late teens and early 20s for the Wilhelmina Models agency.[1] As a model she became conscientious of what she was eating, so during this time, she changed her eating habits to be healthier.[2].

Krieger has a bachelor’s degree in clinical nutrition from Cornell University,[3] and has a master’s in nutrition from Columbia University.[4]Krieger is a registered dietitian and nutritionist[5] and was an adjunct professor at New York University in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health.[1]

Krieger contributes to magazines such as Cooking LightFood Network Magazine and Women’s Health Magazine.[6] Additionally she maintains her own blog.

Back in November a really good friend of mine who works at a Barnes and Noble in New Jersey met Ellie at her store and had one of her cookbooks, So Easy signed for me!  It was such a surprise when I got it in the mail…I use this cookbook very often and have loved every single dish I have made from it.  All I have to say is healthy food and be extremely tasty!  What is even better is I have had no problems making any of her dishes gluten free🙂

I also have an edition of Fine Cooking from June 2009 – Eat Smart with Ellie Krieger (Featuring recipes from her best seller, The Food You Crave).  This magazine is jam packed with her amazing recipes and the other night I made her Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes.  Normally I boil my sweet potatoes and mash/whip them up with a bit of cinnamon but I wanted to try something new, and I am happy I did.  (You can also watch a video on this super simple, yet extremely tasty recipe here)

Ellie’s Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

– Roasting sweet potatoes concentrates their flavor and leaves them caramelized outside and tender inside.  Coating them with a touch of lemon and honey before cooking makes them all the more flavorful.

3 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the potatoes in a 9×13-inch baking dish.  In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, and lemon juice.  Pour the mixture over the potatoes and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with the salt and bake, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 1 hour.  Season with more salt to taste and serve.

(Also these are great re-heated).  I think these will be on our table for Thanksgiving this year. Not to sweet but perfectly flavored and tender.

Gluten Free Churros

First off this is not my recipe it belongs to the wonderful Heidi of Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom (aka Super Mom – in my mind!).

I can’t remember exactly how we started talking about Churros last night but Bryan was saying how much he loved them but hated that you could really only get them at amusement parks and such.  A light bulb went off in my head and remembered that Heidi had posted a Churro recipe not that long ago.  I went to her page, found the recipe and realized I had everything I needed to make them.  Well I had everything I needed ingredients wise, but the tools, not so much.  I don’t own any pastry bags and or tips but I figured I could do it anyway.  So here I go with my flour blend my sister sent me from Australia (The mixture already has guar gum in it and it worked pretty darn well!! – Thanks Sara).  I followed the directions per Heidi’s blog (see below).  However, instead of using a pastry bag and star tip I used a large freezer zip lock bag and just cut one of the corners.  The first cut was a bit small so I just made it a little bit bigger…better to cut a smaller hole first instead of a bigger one and realizing it was too big and having to use another zip lock bag all together.

I piped my little Churros onto a silplat lined baking sheet (I didn’t have any wax paper). Heated my oil over medium-high heat (I also don’t have a thermometer!). Mixed my cinnamon and sugar mixture in a shallow dish, placed my first batch of Churros into the pan with the hot oil and watched them carefully (again didn’t know the temp with out a thermometer) and turned them once they became a nice deep golden brown on the first side, about two minutes.  When the Churros were completely cooked, I removed them from the oil and drained them slightly on a paper towel lined baking sheet then added them to the cinnamon sugar mixture to be coated – surprisingly the mixture stuck very well even though the Churros weren’t piped out with the star tip!  I continued this process until all the Churros were fried and coated.

Gluten Free Churros – Recipe from Heidi of Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom

1 cup Water

1/3 cup Butter (I used Smart Balance, so dairy-free Earth Balance will work just as well)

2 Tbs. packed Brown Sugar

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 cup Better Batter Gluten Free Flour (if you use a different GF flour blend, be sure to include Xanthan Gum)

1 Egg

1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Oil for Frying

Cinnamon Sugar Topping

1/4 cup Granulated Sugar

3/4 tsp. ground Cinnamon

  • In a medium saucepan, combine water, butter, brown sugar, and salt. Bring to boiling over medium heat
  • Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
  • Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes.
  • Add egg and vanilla, beating well with a wooden spoon.
  • Transfer mixture to a decorating bag fitted with a large star tip. (Note: I first tried this with a disposable pastry bag and the thick dough blew a hole in the side of the bag.  I would recommend using a real pastry bag or even a Freezer Ziploc bag.  For the Star Tip, I used a 1M Star Tip, these can also be found at craft stores).
  • Line a baking sheet waxed paper.
  • Pipe 4×1-inch logs onto prepared baking sheet.
  • Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep saucepan to 375 degrees F.
  • Fry a few logs at a time in deep hot oil about 2 minutes or until golden brown on both sides, turning once.
  • Drain on paper towels.
  • Keep warm in a 300 degree F oven while cooking remaining churros.
  • In a medium bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  • Roll warm churros in cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat.
  • Serve warm.

Makes about 20 churros.

This recipe is great…really easy to make and the taste is awesome!!  Thanks again Heidi for posting this recipe (along with everything else on your blog).

Brown Sugar Crusted Ham

In my second “make it stretch” meal I made Brown Sugar Crusted Ham steak with a baked potato with garlicy green beans.  When I was first diagnosed I was told that pork products are one of those products that you had to be careful about because many times it’s a source of hidden gluten.  Thankfully now many companies are labeling their products better with “gluten free” right on them!  I’m very happy and thankful that companies started doing this.  It makes life so much easier.

Trader Joe’s has gotten really good about labeling their products now.  When I was shopping there last week I noticed that their ham steaks have gluten free written right on the package so I grabbed one.  I figured this one little ham steak could stretch for two-three meals.  I used only a third of the ham for the first meal and plan to make a ham and cheese quice or frittata and use the remaining third to make “breakfast for dinner” one night this week.

Brown Sugar Crusted Ham

1 ham steak

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Coat one side of the ham steak with the tablespoon of brown sugar.  In a medium non stick skillet place ham steak brown sugar side down and cook over medium high heat for about five minutes or until it starts to caramelize – do not burn.  Turn and repeat on the other side.  (The good thing with these steaks is they are pre-cooked, you just need to heat them through out). This meal was made for one person so adjust the amounts depending on how many people.

Baked Potato

1 large russet potato

1 teaspoon canola oil

kosher salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Clean and lightly scrub potato and try off.  Poke several times with a fork.  In a medium bowl coat the potato with the oil and season with salt.  Place potato directly on the middle rack and place a baking sheet below to catch any drippings.  Bake for about 1 hour or until the skin is crispy and the flesh is soft.

Garlicy Green Beans

1/4 pound of green beans

1 small garlic clove minced

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

In a small/medium pan steam the green beans until they are a vibrant green color and still have a little crunch to them.  Strain.  In the same pan teat oil, garlic and salt and pepper.  Cook for about 1 minute and return green beans to the pan, sautee for an additional two minutes.

Gluten Free Bagels (re-post)

I know I have already posted a recipe for these bagels before but they are just so good!  I made them again today and thought I would post a new photo of them.  The recipe is really easy believe it or not.  I have tried a few store bought gluten free bagels and they just don’t stand up to these.  They are thick and have a similar texture to a “real” bagel.  The flavor of these are great too.  I add my own toppings to them, garlic, salt, sesame etc.  My favorites are by far the garlic and salt though, however I want to try and make a jalapeno/cheddar bagel at some point.   Today’s batch consisted of plain, garlic and salt.

If you miss bagels as much as I do, you should give this recipe a try and let me know what you think of it.

(sadly I can’t link to their recipe because I no longer have my membership due to moving – but it was in their Oct/Nov issue from 2009)

Thai Chicken and Noodle Salad

Things are a bit crazy right now with getting ready to move.  Bryan will be starting law school this fall in Rhode Island, so in July I will be moving back east to be with him.  I’ll be flying to New Jersey (where he is currently living) for a about two – three weeks and then we’ll be heading up to Rhode Island together (into a place we have yet to find!).  I have no job lined up either and I have my fingers (and toes) crossed that the search will be a bit easier once I’m actually there and can see what is around us.

I will not being bringing any of my furniture with me, just packing up some boxes to ship across the country. I”ll be selling all the big things (or I hope to see them anyway!!).  The most important things for me to ship are my kitchen things: my pans, knives and of course my awesome KitchenAid! The trick is to try and figure out how to ship that and my wine and wine rack.  Hmmmm lots of bubble wrap?

With all of that going on and trying to save money and have enough to ship all the boxes, money is umm a bit tight right about now.  This week I have been trying to make meals that either make good left overs or use ingredients that can be used in several meals.  So far this week it was ground beef tacos made with the Trader Joe’s GF taco seasoning (I don’t follow the directions on the back and add tomato paste…I like the spice in it) which last night turned in to nachos.  Tonight will be the Thai Chicken and Noodle Salad.  The extra chicken will be used either in a grilled chicken salad or something of the sort.  I also have lined up some ham steak with a baked potato which will then be made into a ham and cheese frittata – YUMMM

One of my favorite magazines and websites is Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine.  I just packed all mine up to ship next week so I’ve been searching online for recipes to adapt and came across this one that sounded and looked really good…and it tasted great!!  Very light, full of flavor and refreshing.  This would be a great meal on a hot summer night.  Sadly this isn’t a great dish for Bryan because of the onions but I’m sure I can make it with out it and it taste just fine. I made a few alterations to the original recipe (my alterations are in red) to make this gluten free.

Thai Chicken and Noodle Salad

Serves 4

  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced crosswise
  • Spicy Asian Dressing -see below
  • Coarse salt
  • 3 1/2 ounces Chinese rice noodles, broken in half if long (I used the thick rice noodles instead of the thing ones, I think it worked well)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower (I used coconut oil – tasted great!!)
  • 2 carrots, sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, torn
  • Bean sprouts, chopped peanuts, fresh mint leaves, red-pepper flakes, and sliced scallion greens, for garnish (optional)
  1. Place chicken and half of dressing in a resealable plastic bag (reserve remaining dressing). Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes (or refrigerate overnight).
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles until tender. Drain, and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Transfer to a platter.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Working in batches, cook chicken (do not crowd skillet) until cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes; transfer to platter on top of noodles.
  4. Top with carrots, cucumber, and basil. Drizzle with reserved dressing, and sprinkle with garnishes, if desired.

Spicy Asian Dressing

  • 4 thinly sliced scallion whites
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (or 1 minced canned anchovy) – (I didn’t have either so I left it out)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

This is my second attempt at using my coconut oil in a recipe but I have one more to attempt this weekend so keep checking back.
Rice Noodles on Foodista