Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thanks Clara!

This year we participated in a swap through the Yahoo! Gluten Free Recipes Group and it was so much fun.  We got our package yesterday and my daughter was so excited!  Clara sent us some amazing Liz Lovely German chocolate cookies and we expect the Ginger Molassas ones to be equally as good -- They were actually soft, I'm trying hard not to snitch a little.  Along with some hot cereal she can't wait to try and some sample packs of Mary's Gone crackers.  So yummy!  In addition Clara made my daughter a bag with her name on it and a bookmark -- she loves to read, she was so excited Clara took the time to make these for her.

This was so much fun we can't wait until next year.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

German Pancakes

One of my favorite breakfasts as a child was German Pancakes.  We loved them.   Actually I think it was more about the cool whip than the actual "pancake" then.  But now it is about the whole experience.  I love the crispy and yet spongy texture, and the eggy, slightly salty taste mixed with the sweetness of the fruit and cream. Mmmm, I now wanting them again and I just ate them for breakfast.  Dinner maybe??

I made a double batch to feed 5 (it really feeds about 6-7, we had some leftovers) and then a 1/3 batch for my daughter (the 1/3 measurements are at the bottom of the recipe).  If you aren't GF just eliminate the xanthan gum.

German Pancakes (printer friendly)
2-4 T butter*
3 eggs
1/2 C flour mix
1/2 C milk
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1. Preheat oven to 435-degrees.  Place the butter in the pan and set in oven to melt.  If using a glass pan just set it in long enough for the butter to start melting, but not melting all the way so it doesn't get too hot and break when you pour the batter in.

2. In a blender add the eggs and flour and mix until thoroughly combined.  Add remaining ingredients.

Pour into pan.
I know it is blurry, but you get the idea. -- my 1/3 recipe is in the back.

Bake for 20 minutes.

 my 1/3 batch

This is my double batch, I love how it puffs up then falls as it cools, like a souffle.

3. Serve with fruit & whipped cream, or powdered sugar, or syrup if you so desire.

*more makes it richer, I usually do 2-3)

1/3 recipe measurements
1 1/2 T butter
2 eggs
3 T flour
1/8 tsp xanthan gum (add with flour)
3 T milk
dash of salt.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BBQ Ribs and Beans

We love BBQ Country Style Spare Ribs, but who doesn't?  But today I was looking for something a little different to do with the ribs other than just BBQ sauce then served with a potato and veggie.  As I was thinking I came up with this.  It felt very cowboy-like.  It was delicious.  I ended up just serving it with carrots and canned apple pie filling as sides.  It was a wonderful meal and everyone ate it up.

BBQ Ribs and Beans (printer friendly)
3 1/2 lbs country style spare ribs
1 can chili beans
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can pinto beans*, drained
1 1/2 C BBQ sauce**
1 T A1 steak sauce

1. Add the ribs and beans to the crockpot

2. Pour in the BBQ sauce and A1, and stir
3. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8.  Use a slotted spoon to get the beans out of the crockpot so you don't end up with a lot of sauce.

*I used the ones I had frozen earlier
**I used 3/4 of a bottle of Kraft Original

Monday, November 23, 2009

Banana Cream Pie

My husband's favorite pie is Banana Cream.  It is also my daughter's.  I have been working on perfecting the recipe for several years and I think I am almost there.  Earlier this week my daughter had a church activity where she was to bring her favorite Thanksgiving recipe and, if she wanted, a sample to share.  She had a hard time choosing between mashed potatoes (apparentely mine are the BEST, even though they are pretty basic) and Banana Cream Pie.  She eventually chose the pie.  Then that evening I also had a church activity and had volunteered to take a pie - before I knew my daughter would need a pie the same day.  Then my husband, when he heard I would be making pies hoped there would be some for him.  Soooo, I made 3 Banana Cream Pies.  Each a little different, but all delicious.  This is the version I liked the best, for now.

Banana Cream Pie (printer friendly recipe)

1 8-9" Cookie Crust
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 T sugar
1 6 serving pkg Banana Cream Pudding
2 1/2 C milk
1/3 C whipped topping
1 banana
Whipped Cream

1. In a medium size bowl combine cream cheese and sugar.

Beat until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.

2. In a separate bowl combine the milk and pudding and beat on high for 2 minutes.
3. Add about 1/4-1/3 of the pudding to the cream cheese mixture and stir together. 
4. Slice banana into the bottom of the prepared crust.

5. Pour cream cheese mixture over the bananas making sure all the bananas are covered.
6. Pour about a 1/2 C of pudding over cream cheese layer and smooth out.

7. Add the whipped topping to the remaining pudding and cover the pie.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow it to set up.  Top with whipped cream, if desired


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cookie Crust

This is a crust my mom created that is heavenly.  Basically it is a sugar cookie.  We use it for cream pies, refrigerated cheesecake, strawberry pie, and, my husband's personal favorite, banana cream.  Perhaps the best part is that it the GF version just requires a change in flour, no xanthan gum necessary.

Cookie Crust (printer friendly)
1 C flour (GF or regular)
1 stick of butter*, chunked
1/4 C powdered sugar

1.  In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients

With your fingers, mix together until the consistency of dry sugar cookie dough.

This works best if your hands are cold and you just use the tips of your fingers.

Press into an 8"or 9" pie pan.

2. Refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes.  Cook for 10 minutes on 400-degrees. Allow to cool completely before filling.

This crust is great for strawberry pie, any cream pie, and no cook cheesecake. 

*Use salted or add a little salt if using unsalted.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lemon-Onion Chicken and Gravy

The other day I got a bunch of meat on a fabulous sale.  Little by little we have been eating some and freezing the rest of the package.  One of the nights I needed something fast or we were going to end up going out to eat and I'm kind of tired of McDonald's.  So I started with a Rachel Ray cookbook again and found a recipe where she marinated slightly some chicken in lemon juice and salt and pepper.  You then used the chicken for something else, but I thought it would be good just as chicken.  This is what I came up with, the chicken was divine, the gravy only so-so, I should have added some basil or perhaps some coriander -- next time.

Lemon-Onion Chicken & Gravy (printer friendly version)
6 chicken breast halves, cut in thirds
1 lemon
salt & pepper
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1/4 tsp thyme
1 T potato flour
1 C water

1. Lay the chicken thirds on a plate and sprinkle with salt & pepper and the juice from the lemon.  Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.
2. In a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat,  heat olive oil.  Add chicken.  Top with onion slices and sprinkle the thyme over the chicken.  Cover and cook through, about 10-15 minutes.

3. Remove chicken from pan and place on a plate and cover with tin foil.  Meanwhile, add flour to pan and scrape the drippings up.  Add water and whisk cooking until thickened. 

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Dried Beans

 A while back I mentioned using beans I had cooked from dried and frozen.  I freeze them in portions sizes equal to canned beans since most recipes call for canned beans.  The measurements are listed at the end.  You can do this with any dried beans you want except Kidney beans.  Apparently they have some issues, I just buy them canned.  Here is the process I use.  First sort the beans, removing the undesirable items like:
Split Beans

Shriveled &/or discolored Beans

And Rocks, yes I said rocks.

Next, place in a crockpot with 2x's the water as beans.  Or just fill the crockpot about 1/2 way with beans and then fill with water to the top.  

Allow to sit over night.  Dump water (makes the beans less gassy), and refill with water about 1 " over the beans.   Add about 1 tsp salt.  Make sure you add salt unless you buy unsalted beans, beans are like pasta & rice, no amount of salting will help if they aren't cooked in salt.  Set on high for about 1-2 hours to get the cooking process speeding along, and reduce to low and let cook for 8-10 hours.   The lower in elevation you are the less time you need and the higher the more time you need.

When soft, place in the refrigerator overnight to cool.  Then place in qt freezer bags. 
It is best to freeze the beans with some some juice so the beans don't dry out.  There is approx 1 1/4 C beans and 1/4 C juice in a can of beans.  Make sure to remove as much of the air as possible before closing the bag, it will help prevent freezer burn. 

You can use these beans as you would any canned beans, in casseroles and baked things or fresh.  They are delicious!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Apple Pie Filling

Don't these bottles look pretty.  Yesterday I made apple pie filling for the first time and it turned out fabulous (except for the one bottle that boiled all over the place, but I choose to forget that).  A friend gave us some as a Christmas present a few years ago and I have been wanting to do some ever since.  This year a neighbor let us pick apples from their tree so I was over flowing in apples and decided to give it a try.  Let's just say I will be doing this every year from now on.  It turned out so yummy.  I figure I can use it for pie filling, apple crisp, ice cream topping, oatmeal topping, to eat just plain, add to yogurt, etc., etc., etc. 

Apple Pie Filling (printer friendly recipe) 
Yield: 7 quarts
4 1/2 C Sugar
1 C cornstarch
2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
10 C water
3 T lemon juice
1 t salt
5 1/2 - 6 lbs. apples

1. In a large pot on medium heat, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and water.  Allow to cook, stirring until thick an bubbly.

 Isn't this pretty?
2. Turn off the heat and add the lemon juice and salt.
3. Peel/Core/and Slice the apples.*  Place them tightly into quart jars.

4. Pour the sauce over the apples leaving a 1/2" space at the top.  If the sauce is too thick to go down, heat over low until it is a little warmer.  I kind of dilly dallied in getting the apples done and this happened to me and after I heated it slightly it worked just fine.

 5. Wash rims and place two piece lids on as directed on the box.
 6. Process in a boiling water canner for 40 minutes. 

*I own an apple peeler/corer/slicer that I used to peel the apples.  I didn't core or slice with this tool since the slices would have been too thin.


I then used an apple wedger to make the wedges.


You could do the peeling, coring and wedging by hand, it would just take a little longer.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Seven Layer Dip

In case you haven't figured out, I love Mexican.  Tonight we did simple and easy.  While Seven Layer Dip is traditionally served as an appetizer, I like to have it for dinner, with it light on the sour cream.  Yum!

Seven-Layer Dip (printer friendly recipe)
2 cans Refried beans
1 C Sour Cream (2 C if using as an appetizer)
1/2 pkg taco seasoning (opt -- 1 pkg if doing 2 C Sour Cream)
2 C Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 small onion, chopped
1 med tomato, chopped
1 sm can sliced olives (not shown in photo)
Corn Chips or taco shells

1. Layer Refried Beans on the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  Layer the Guacamole on top (as much as you like, I did 1 1/2 avocados worth).  Next combine sour cream and taco seasoning, if using.  Spread on top of the Guacamole.  Layer Cheese and then top with onion, tomato and olives.
2. If you want you can add chopped avocado, shredded lettuce, jalapenos, black beans, or any other mexican like thing you think is yummy.
3. Serve with corn Chips, or use as a filling for a taco shell.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cookie Dough Brownies

Can you think of anything that could possibly be a yummier combination than brownies & uncooked cookie dough???  I think not!  I got this idea at from the National Cookie Network which led me to Let's Get Cookin' that had the recipe.  Once I saw it I had to try it and it was DIVINE!!  I ended up making the non-GF brownies too thick so the GF ones tasted the best.  I used my version of Carol Fenster's brownie and it is delicious!  Then I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe to make the dough. I realized as I wrote this I have never posted these two recipes, a travesty that MUST be addressed.  Look for individual posts of these in the near future (after my daughter finishes these brownies and the Chocolate Cookies to Die For that are currently in the freezer).

I do have to admit that the original recipe called for a 9x13 pan of brownies, but my GF brownie recipe makes an 8x8 pan.  I didn't really want to do much math so I just baked it in an 11x7 pan and then had a little thicker cookie dough, nothing bad about that.

If you have your own chocolate chip cookie dough you love just take the recipe and use the same amount of butter, sugars, vanilla, salt & flour.  Then sub 1/4 C milk for each egg.  Don't use the baking soda or powder since they are a part of the recipe to help the cookies bake well.  You also don't need xanthan gum since it also helps the BAKED cookie hold together and the dough doesn't need that.

Cookie Dough Brownies (printer friendly)
3/4 C butter, softened (or substitute)
3/4 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt (opt.**)
1/3 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 C milk (or substitute - I'd use coconut for this recipe)
1 2/3 C flour
1 C chocolate chips - mini would be best,
3/4 C flaked coconut
3/4 C walnuts, chopped

1. Allow your brownies to cool.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugars, salt (if using), and vanilla.  Beat in the milk.  Gradually add the flour until it is fully mixed. 
3. Add chips, coconut and walnuts.
4. Spread dough over the brownies
I plopped the dough on and then spread it out.

5. Refrigerate until the dough is firm.

**I used salted butter so I omitted the salt.  If using unsalted butter you will probably want to add salt.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Apple Crisp sans Oatmeal

A friend of ours has a bunch of apple trees and offered us some if we came and picked them.  It turned out to be a great family night activity.  That said, we now have almost 4 bushels of apples that need to have something done to them.  So Monday night we had Apple Crisp.  I went looking for a recipe since I don't have one I am in love with and found one in my America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook which was mostly GF, which I thought was wonderful and so I had to try it and it was delicious.  I still think I like it best with oatmeal, but this was really good and everyone loved it.  Note to self, watch the timer and the temperature in the oven.   I was making this the same time I made Twisty Cheese Sticks and I ended up under cooking the cheese sticks and over cooking the apple crisp.  That said, it was delicious still.  Basically, it turned out a little more caramelly (if that's a word), the only thing missing was ice cream. I did 2x's the recipe and cooked it in a 9x13 pan.

Apple Crisp sans Oatmeal (printer friendly recipe)
3 T rice flour blend
3 T sorghum flour
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
5 T unsalted butter (or substitute), cut into 1/2 pieces and softened*
3/4 C finely chopped walnuts or pecan
3 lbs apples (6-8), peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 C sugar
1 1/2 T lemon juice

1. For the topping combine the flours, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Add the vanilla and butter and stir to coat the butter.  With your fingers squish the butter and flour mixture together until you get a mixture that resembles "wet sand" (love that description).  Add the nuts and stir to combine.
Doesn't it look like wet sand?
Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 375-degrees and make sure the oven rack is on the 2nd to lowest level.
3. Combine the apples, remaining sugar, and lemon juice and dump into an 8x8 pan or 9" deep-dish pie plate.
I love the look of the apples, so shiny and pretty.

4. Crumble the refrigerated topping over the apples so it covers evenly.

 5. Bake for 40 minutes (1 hour if doubling and using a 9x13 pan) or until the fruit is bubbly and the topping is deep golden brown (not dark like mine).  Let cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes.

*I just microwaved my butter for 10 seconds and cut it up

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Twisty (kind of) Cheese Sticks

The other day I decided to make the Cowboy Beans from the "A Year of Slow Cooking."  After a disastrous issue with soaking the beans overnight with the crockpot on (can you say ready to be refried) and then forgetting to soak them I finally got around to successfully making it.  The soup was pretty good, not amazing, but good.  However, the Cheese Sticks I made to go with the soup were fabulous.  I only wish I would have realized my oven wasn't heating all the way and they would have worked even better, and I should have cooked them just a bit longer to get even more crunch (I finally figured it out on the 3rd pan in the oven - 1 GF pan, and 2 regular).  I was a little worried my dough was too soft since they didn't twist great, but I think it is because I didn't twist them enough to really stay twisted, instead they just folded.  I think I got this recipe from the Family Fun magazine, but I'm not sure since I cut it out and placed it in my "to try" binder, and I really should have "tried" it before.  Even though I made GF & regular sticks, I could have just done GF (cost aside) and no one would have known the difference.  You really need to try these the next time you crockpot.  They are really easy and don't take too much time.  Since you already made dinner in the crockpot it makes it even easier.

Twisty (kind of) Cheese Sticks (printer friendly recipe)

1 C rice flour blend
1/2 C sorghum flour
6 T butter, softened
2 C grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C grated Parmesan &/or Romano cheese
1 egg
1/4 C milk

1. Heat oven to 400-degrees and grease 2 cookie sheets
2. In a food processor add the flours, butter, and cheeses.  Pulse for about a minute or until all the cheese, flour, and butter and well combined.

3. Add the egg and pulse until its combined well.  With the processor running, add the milk through the feed tube and blend until the dough forms a ball (about a minute).  Add more Parmesan if it seems really sticky.
4. Place 1/2 the dough on a floured surface (I used parchment paper) and roll to about 1/8 inch thick.  Cut into 1/2-inch strips that are 4-inches long.  Twist the strips and line them up on the prepared cookie sheet.

5. Bake the strips for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Store in an airtight container for up to a week (if they last that long).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chicken, Toasted Garlic & Veggie Pasta

First I have to admit that the photo is not using GF pasta.  My daughter who is GF had the flu the day I served this and she didn't want to eat anything, so I didn't have to make her pasta.   That said, it had been a long day and I needed something fast so I went to my Rachel Ray Express Meals cookbook and went searching.  I came upon "Toasted Garlic & Sweet Pea Pasta" that I had been wanting to try for a while, but was always missing one or more ingredients.  Well I still didn't have enough peas but decided to make it work anyway, by using the end of a bag of broccoli.  I also decided it needed chicken.  Let me say, this was DIVINE!!  It was so good I ended up freezing it in portion sizes so I could eat it later.  I am definately going to make this again.  If you are worried about it being too garlicky, it isn't.  The garlic seems to just melt into the sauce and compliments perfectly.  I think I am going to try adding toasted sliced almonds next time, I think it would give a great crunch.

Chicken, Toasted Garlic & Veggie Pasta  
(printer friendly recipe)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 chicken breast halves, chopped
1 lb pasta
1/4-1/3 olive oil
5 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lg onion, finely chopped
1 med green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt, to taste (about 1/4 tsp for me)
black pepper, to taste (about 1/4 tsp for me)
2 3/4 C chicken broth
1-10 oz box of frozen peas
1 small bag of frozen broccoli
3 T dried parsley
1 C grated Parmesan Cheese (opt)
1/4 tsp sliced almonds, toasted (opt.)

1. In a medium skillet cook heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and cook chicken until golden brown.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions, be sure to save about 1/2 C of the pasta water for the sauce.
3. In a large skillet heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat and add the sliced garlic.  Cook until golden brown, careful garlic goes from golden to black quickly.  Remove garlic to a paper towel lined plate. 
4. Turn the heat up to med-high and add the red pepper flakes, onion, green pepper, thyme, salt and pepper.  Cook, being sure to stir frequently, until the onions and green pepper are tender and the onions start to brown.  Add the chicken stock and cook for about 4 minutes.  Add the peas, broccoli, cooked chicken and 1/2 C pasta water (if doing GF & regular pasta be sure to get water from the GF pasta pan).  Bring the sauce to a boil and add the parsley and garlic slices.  Stir to combine and taste to determine if it needs more salt and pepper, add if necessary.
5. Pour sauce over pasta and and stir to combine.  Add cheese and stir.  If the sauce is too thick you can add more chicken broth.  Pass cheese at the table for those who want more.


Related Posts with Thumbnails