Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Crunchy Granola

A year ago my husband and I visited Scotland and Ireland. We spent 3 days in Belfast and during that time we stayed at a hotel that served breakfast. Because we were cheap we chose the cold breakfast each morning. I expected cold cereal, instead it was basic granola with choices of dried fruit, nuts, seeds, etc. I loved it. Since then I have been trying to recreate the granola with no luck. Last January my sister sent me this recipe from a recipe swap at church. It sounded so yummy, but I hadn't gotten around to making it until today and I'm not sure I made enough. I can't stop eating it, and it reminds me so much of the granola back in Belfast, it isn't sweet like most granolas and it is pretty healthy so I don't feel too guilty eating a lot. It is easily the best granola I've ever had. If you like sweet granola add honey to the butter/syrup mixture before you pour it over the rest of the ingredients. I am thinking of having it over ice cream as a lunch/afternoon snack.

NOTE: This uses oatmeal, which need to be certified GF for those with GF issues, even if they are GF some people still have problems with oatmeal.

Crunchy Granola
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)

¾ cup sliced or slivered almonds
½ cup raw sunflower seeds
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp flax seed
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil or 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

½ cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade A Dark Amber)

1 cup dried fruits (cranberries, cherries, apricots, dates, figs, and/or raisins) (optional -- but recommended, I used cranberries & dates)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Either butter or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, nuts, seeds, flax seed, ground cinnamon, and salt.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the oil (or melted butter), and maple syrup. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and toss together, making sure all the dry ingredients are coated with the liquid. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 30 - 45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally so the mixture browns evenly. (The browner the granola gets (without burning) the crunchier the granola will be.) Place on a wire rack to cool. You will notice that the granola may still be sticky when it is removed from the oven but it will become crisp and dry as it cools. Make sure to break up any large clumps of granola while the mixture is still warm. Once the granola has completely cooled, add dried fruit and store in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator. It will keep for several weeks.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ham & Cheese Crustless Quiche

I've never tried quiche, but tonight that seemed like something yummy. I had decided on baked potatoes and needed something to go with it and I didn't really want hamburger or chicken. After looking at menu ideas from the GFRecipeswap YAHOO! group I came across an idea for a crustless quiche. It turned out DELICIOUS! I had to stop myself and everyone else from eating it all -- I really wanted leftovers.

Ham & Cheese Crustless Quiche (printer friendly)

7 eggs
3/4 C milk
3/4 C evap milk
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 C chopped ham
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp djon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
dash of Old Bay (opt.)

1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Grease a 10" tart pan or cake pan.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat all ingredients with a wire whisk until thoroughly combined.
3. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until egg is thoroughly cooked
4. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Beef Stroganoff

I love Beef Stroganoff, yet I rarely have enough sour cream to make it. Tonight I was completely lost on what to have for dinner and called my sister who also has a daughter with Celiacs and said, "What are you having for dinner?" She didn't know, but she mentioned she had Beef Stroganoff the other night and since I had to run to the store anyway, I was able to get sour cream and even used fresh mushrooms (usually it is just canned). It turned our very yummy. Basically, I just used the recipe in the Better Homes & Garden Cookbook with a few changes.

Beef Stroganoff (printer friendly)
1 lb hamburger
1 8-oz carton sour cream
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 C water
2 tsp beef bouillon granules (or 2 cubes smashed*)
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 C sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 C chopped onion (1 medium)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 C hot cooked noodles

1. In a small mixing bowl combine the flour with the sour cream. Add the water, bouillon, and pepper and whisk until smooth.
2. In a large skillet cook hamburger partially, then add mushrooms, onions, and garlic and cook until meat is done. Drain, if desired.
3. Add sour cream mixture and stir until thickened. Bring to a boil and stir for 1 more minute. Serve over noodles. Makes 4 servings.

*I use a meat tenderizer to smash the unopened package of the cube and then open the package.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ice Cream Sandwiches with Cookie

There was a time I really didn't like ice cream sandwiches, but lately they always look good at the store. Problem -- no GF ice cream sandwiches at our store. So I always feel like I am a bad mom if I decide to buy them and then deny my daughter. So today I decided I would make my own. A few years ago I got an ice cream sandwich press from Pampered Chef. I don't think they sell it anymore, at least I can't find it online. I should have photographed it, but my hands were a mess and I didn't think my husband would appreciate me using his camera with ice cream hands. Anyway, basically it is a tube that allows you to place a cookie on the bottom, add ice cream and then another cookie, turn it upside down and use a plunger on the bottom to press it all together. It doesn't turn out as pretty as the ones at the store, but it does push it together. If you have the style of measuring cup that allows you to push the contents out from the bottom then that would work just as well. I adapted a recipe from Nestle Tollhouse Best Loved Cookies cookbook, also known as "The Cookie Book" to our family and all my sisters since we all have one. The recipe was "Double Chocolate Dream Cookies" and while the regular recipe is a dream I have yet to perfect the GF version. It is yummy, but always too crispy. I need to cook them less time. I have the cookie recipe at the end of the post.

Ice Cream Sandwiches
1. Basically use the measuring cup to cut the cookie so it will fit inside the measuring cup (you will want to make larger cookies than usual and ones that turn out flat).
2. Place one cookies top side down on the bottom of the measuring cup then add some softened ice cream, about a 1/3-1/2 C.
3. Place a second cookie, top up on top of the ice cream. Turn the measuring cup upside down onto a hard surface and push the contents together. Lift up and push the "sandwich" out. Individually wrap with plastic wrap or fold over sandwich bags and place in a large freezer bag. Place in the freezer for about 8 hours or overnight. (We didn't do this since we ate them for family night and they were yummy, but VERY soft and messy).

Here is the sandwich all wrapped up.

Double Chocolate Dream Cookies
(adapted from Nestle Tollhouse Best-Loved Cookies)
2 1/4 GF flour mix (I used rice)
1/2 C baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt.
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 C butter or margarine, softened
1 C packed brown sugar
3/4 C granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
2. In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, & xanthan gum. In a medium bowl beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add eggs and beat for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips.
3. Drop by tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheet, if making sandwiches you may want your drops to be as big as 2-3 Tbsp. Bake for 8-11 minutes or until puffed. Let stand for 2 minutes; remove cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Makes 4 1/2 doz (if making the smaller cookies, about 2 doz with the larger)

Amaranth-Sorghum Muffins

Amaranth & Sorghum are a grains I really love cooking with. They create baked goods with wonderful texture are a whole grain but have a more mild flavor. The cute muffin above was made using Pampered Chef's "Silicone Bakeware Floral Cupcake Pan." I usually end up using it for my GF muffins since it is a size that makes it difficult to get 2 pans in the oven, which we need to make enough muffins for everyone else and have some left over.

Anyway, this recipe is adapted from Bette Hagman's "Quick & Easy Muffins" and it is our standby. It isn't straight Amaranth & Sorghum, since they are heavier grains, I also use a regular rice GF flour mix.

Amaranth-Sorghum Muffins (printer friendly version)

1/4 C sugar
2 Tbsp shortening
2 eggs
1/4 C sorghum
1/4 C amaranth
1/2 C GF rice mix
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 C milk (or substitute)
1/4 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees and grease 8-12 muffin cups
2. In a medium mixing bowl, with a hand mixer or wooden spoon, cream the shortening and suger. Beat in the eggs.
3. Combine the dry ingredients. Add them alternately with the milk to the egg mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon. DON'T OVERBEAT! Stir in the vanilla.
4. Pour into greased cups and bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cheddar Cheese Fondue

For our Anniversary a few years ago my husband and I went to The Melting Pot for dinner. For those not familiar with the restaurant it serves strictly fondue. The tables have stoves in them and the food was divine, however the price tag was STEEP, especially on a grad student budget. That said, it was well worth the money. Since then we have loved fondue. Every so often we have fondue for dessert or dinner. This last New Year's Eve we started a tradition we hope to continue of having fondue every year to celebrate. All our kids enjoy the dipping and the food that goes with it.

TIP: If we are doing it with friends and not everything is Gluten-free, I spoon some fondue out into a container that keeps soup warm for my daughter. I have been wanting a Rival Little Dipper to use as well and last night I got on Amazon and bought one for future uses. I am very excited. We will probably have to have fondue again soon. She then has her own GF dippers (brownies, bread, cake, etc.) in addition to the ones that are naturally GF (fruit & veggies).

Recently I found a website that is devoted to fondue and has a ton of recipes for cheese, meat, and dessert fondue. It is Best Fondue.com, and contains everything you would need to know on how make and eat fondue. They have some wonderful recipes. This time I used a recipe from The Fondue Cookbook by Beth Merriman, I'm not even sure the book is still in print, it was given to my Mom for her wedding and she gave it to me, along with her fondue pot that had never been used, for Christmas a few years ago. We really like the Cheddar Cheese Fondue recipe in the book, with a couple of changes (juice for beer and no Ac'cent, also known as MSG).

Cheddar Cheese Fondue (printer friendly version)

1/4 C butter
1/4 C potato flour (or regular if no GF)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 C apple or white grape juice
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 C (1/2 lb) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Melt butter in a saucepan, add flour, salt and mustard. Mix until smooth. Slowly add juice until thoroughly combined then add Worcestershire sauce and combine. Cook until mixture thickens and boils. Add cheese, stirring constantly until cheese is all melted. Pour into a fondue pot and keep warm.

TIP: If using an all metal fondue pot and you aren't ready to eat, place the pot into a warm, but off, stove. If the lid has plastic cover pot with foil until ready to serve.

french bread, Rosemary Peasant Bread, Foccacia, apples, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, or any other veggie or food that you think would be good with cheese and hold up to dipping.

Double Chocolate Fondue

This is the chocolate fondue recipe I used last night. It is also from The Fondue Cookbook. I, of course, made a slight change to the recipe (used cream not milk), and it turned out delicious and very rich. You should try it, it was divine.

Double Chocolate Fondue (printer friendly version)

1 8-oz pkg semi-seet chocolate, broken in pieces
1 4-oz pkg german chocolate, broken in pieces
3/4 C whipping cream
1/4 C sugar
Dash of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Place over low heat, stirring constantly, until everything is melted and the chocolate is smooth. Make sure not to heat too hot or the chocolate can burn. Pour into a fondue pot to keep warm. You may need to add more cream if it sits out more than a 1/2 hour in order to keep the right consistency. This is also yummy over ice cream.

Strawberries, Pineapple, Lg. Marshmallows (the chocolate swirl or carmel swirl would be fantastic -- toast earlier if you desire), brownies, cheesecake, angel food cake, etc.

Herb topped Foccacia

One of my daughters, and, truthfully, the rest of the family's favorite things to eat is Carol Fenster's Foccacia from her Wheat-Free Recipes & Menus. I even make up mixes of all the dry ingredients to speed up preparation. This time my daughter made it, mostly, by herself and did a fabulous job! We then used it as a Fondue Dipper. Even without the mixes it is insanely easy and ready in about 1 hour.

1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
3/4 C warm water
1 1/2 C GF flour blend*
1/2 C tapioca flour*
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum*
1 tsp unflavored gelatin powder*
1 tsp dried rosemary*
1/2 tsp onion powder*
3/4 tsp salt*
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese

1. In a small bowl (large enough for water + eggs, oil & vinegar added later) dissolve yeast and sugar in water and allow to foam, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, grease an 11x7-inch pan.
2. Combine dry ingredients (those starred) in a mixing bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl combine eggs 2 Tbsp oil, and vinegar with the yeast mixture. Stir into dry ingredients. Beat with an electric mixer on low for 2 minutes. You may need to use a rubber spatula to push down dough if it clings to beaters. The dough will be very soft and sticky.
3. Pour dough into prepared pan. Brush with oil. Combine rosemary, sage, & thyme. Sprinkle on the top of dough. Sprinkle pepper and parmesan on dough. Cover with aluminum foil and let rise for about 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until nicely browned.

*What I put in the mix. I then store the mix in the freezer.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Navajo Tacos

I grew up in a small town on the edge of an American Indian Reservation. For a fundraiser the American Indian student group in our school would make Navajo Tacos and I loved them! Every time I am somewhere they are served I always order them up. I use to make them every few months before we went GF and since then they never seemed to make the menu. Earlier this week I was really wanting one and decided I would try adapting them, and it turned out great! My daughter ate one as a taco and the other just as a scone with honey and butter. Both my husband and I tried them (I made non-GF for everyone else) and they were delicious!

Navajo Tacos (printer friendly version)

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 onion chopped
1 1/2 C water
1/4 tsp salt*
1/4 tsp pepper*
1/2 tsp garlic powder*
1/2 tsp oregano*
1 14-oz can refried beans
1 can tomato sauce
1 can green chilies

1. Boil beef and onion in water for 10-15 minutes or until cooked throughout. Drain (this is optional, depending on how thick you want the filling).
2. Season with seasonings. Add beans, tomato sauce & chilies. Heat until warm.
3. While cooking make shells.

Fry Bread
- Makes 6 ( 2x's this for the meat mixture, especially if you don't drain the meat)
2 C flour
3/4 t salt
3 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 C warm water
oil for frying

1. Combine dry ingredients and add water. Mix and form into a ball.
2. Divide into 6 pieces, place 2 pieces into a ziploc bag or on top of flour. Roll to about 1/2" thick.

3. Heat oil until it pops slightly when water is sprinkled on it. (There is probably a temp but I just use water) Fry "shells" until they are brown on both sides and cooked through.
4. To keep warm, place in a 200-degree oven on a paper towel lined, oven proof plate.

Sour cream
Cheddar cheese (I only had mozzerella so we used that)
Tomatoes, chopped
Olives (not shown)

Place each shell on a plate. Layer with meat mixture, and desired toppings.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cheesy Montreal Chicken Burgers

Several months ago I got chicken for about $1.40/lb and hamburger was running about $3/lb. So in an attempt to save money I bought a ton of chicken and ground it in my Kitchen-Aid meat grinder. A first for me, I had only used the meat grinder for jam. The plan was to use it like hamburger when possible and save a little. So after I went to all that work we found out that we were not big ground chicken fans -- until yesterday. I had planned to make grilled chicken salad but found I didn't have any chicken breasts in the freezer, just ground chicken. I decided we would try that on the grill and see if we liked it any better, and it was deliciously moist and flavorful. So much so I think I might have to grind some more chicken. I ended up serving with a country gravy packet (not GF) in an attempt to get rid of one. If you want to make your own I highly recommend it. I have to admit to a slight contamination issue. I placed the gravy too close to my daughter without telling her it wasn't GF and she grabbed it and put it on her burger and took a bite before I realized my mistake. We quickly got her a new burger and plate while I worried about tummy aches in the night. Luckily she didn't have any. Close call!

Cheesy Montreal Chicken Burgers
1 lb ground chicken
1-2 tsp McCormick "Montreal chicken" seasoning - I used the "grinder" version
1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
Vegetable Oil
Gravy or BBQ sauce*

1. In a medium bowl. Mix first three ingredients together together. Pour vegetable oil onto a plate until it covers the bottom. Don't drown the plate but make sure the bottom of the plate is covered.
2. Form the chicken mixture into burger shapes and set on the plate and turn so both sides are oiled. 3. Grill until cooked through. Serve with country gravy or BBQ sauce if desired.

*I ended up serving with a country gravy packet (not GF) in an attempt to get rid of one. If you want to make your own I highly recommend it. My daughterate it with BBQ sauce after being contaminated by Mom who wasn't paying attention. I placed the gravy too close to my daughter without telling her it wasn't GF and she grabbed it and put it on her burger and took a bite before I realized my mistake. We quickly got her a new burger and plate while I worried about tummy aches in the night. Luckily she didn't have any. Close call!


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