Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year - Yeah 2012

by  nasirkhan


Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Years Eve Party Recipes - Gluten Food Ideas

by clarita

It's that time of the year again to ring in a New Year!  Time to reflect (hopefully full of wonderful memories) and look to the hope of what the future can bring!

As you may gather with friends or family, there must always be good food to go with those great people.

Here are some food ideas for ringing in the New Year.

Good, simple, and raw food is a great place to start:

  • Fresh fruit and veggie platters are always appreciated.  Use a dairy free ranch (I use Penzey's)  or something like the firecracker onion dip.
  • If you can do seafood, fresh seafood and sushi is a wonderful gluten free, dairy free option, especially if you cook it up yourself.
Using a theme is also helpful in planning a coordinated feast.   Everyone loves things in miniature!  Bite sized portions are cute and welcoming.  Here are some themes that may fit the bill!

  • Mexican bar - have open faced tacos.  I make these by cutting out rice tortilla circles (lightly oil these and bake at 350˚F until they are toasted - about 5-7 minutes), add refried beans, cooked taco meat, and cheese (dairy free if necessary).  Heat for 15 seconds in the microwave to melt the cheese, add lettuce, salsa and serve.  Here they are:

          Continuing on the Mexican theme - serve taquitos, or you can use the same rice tortilla rounds and make quesadillas, and how about making individual Enchilada-Casser-Ole- from Taste of Home ( be sure to use dairy free cheese and sour cream, and you can use these recipes for taco seasoning and italian salad dressing.  You can use the same tortilla rounds from above and layer in individual ramekins.  Individual fajitas would be scrumptious. Taste of Home Grilled Fajitas has a good recipe, though I like to use my Penzeys Fajita Seasoning.
  • Tapas bar - I read a great idea in Living Without about having a Mediterranean spread with a roasted red pepper garlic dip, baba ghanoush, empanadas, hummus, and flatbread.  
  • Hot wing bar - use all your favorite sauces. 
  • Pizza bar  - make all the pizza dough ahead using Premium Crust recipe.  Be sure to use your favorite all purpose gluten free flour in the recipe and follow the instructions from there.  I use this recipe to make ahead all my pizza dough for my kids parties.     
Buffalo Chicken Pizza

 For dessert, how about making cookie pizza!  This is versatile and can be made according to your tastes.  You can make smores pizza, a sundae pizza - spreading your cooked crust with ice cream and your favorite toppings, rocky road or anything else your taste buds crave.  Make your favorite gluten free sugar cookie dough ( I used this one. )  Shape the dough into a pizza shape.  Bake cookie crust for about five minutes at 350˚F.  Add toppings and bake for another 2-5 minutes.  Here is my personalized rocky road pizza.

  • Baked potato bar - this needs no describing.  (But make sure there is lots of bacon and cheese!)
  • Soup bar - soup is wonderful and be sure there is your favorite bread on the side.  (I have several favoriteses but I like the size of these Better Batter Italian Rolls). Make sure that your soups are a variety of colors as well as tastes.  This is great if you have meat eaters and vegans all at one party.  Here are some of my favorite soups: Black Bean SoupSpicy Lentil Soup (remember you can add color to your table with lentils, they come in colors!), potato soup, split pea soup, hardy chicken noodle or chicken and dumplings, and if you can do dairy I make this one and it is deelish - Zuppa toscana.
  • Pie bar -  how about different pot pies, Gluten Free Mommy has a fresh pot pie,  a beef pot pie from one of my favorite blogs - The Art of Gluten Free cooking (formerly Four Chickens).  Be sure to end with a choice of sweet mini pies - chocolate pecan pieblueberry cherry pievaried flavors of pie pops, just to name a few.
  • Waffle Bar - make savory and sweet waffles.  Remember that you can make side dishes in a waffle iron. ******  Check out these ideas:  Zucchini Potato Wafflettes , gingerbread waffles ( Elizabeth Kaplan has a great recipe in her bookFresh from Elizabeth's Kitchen: Gluten-free & Allergy-Free Recipes , chocolate waffles, cornbread and jalapeno waffles, oyster waffles, Waffled hash browns,  and in the  Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy Delicious Meals there are several wonderful recipes for savory waffles.  At Food Network Emeril has a wonderful recipe that is easily converted to gluten free, Pecan waffles with roasted pecan and banana syrup. Don't be shy with your favorite waffle batter, try different add ins like bacon and cheddar,  or how about a sticky bun flavor by adding cinnamon, brown sugar, raisins, and walnuts, and there is always a snickerdoodle or apple pie waffles. You can just get so creative with your favorite dishes and waffelize them! ****** Don't forget toppings.  You can have toppings like chili for the cornbread, cheese for the hash brown and zucchini potato wafflettes, whipped cream and fresh fruit for the sweet waffles, as well as dairy free ice cream, glazed fruits, blueberry lemon curd, it is endless! *****If that is just to much waffles for you.  I have used Silvia's idea and used plain waffles as bread and made sandwiches with them.  They make an great alternative to bread, so there is always providing waffle sandwiches.  Meatloaf is my favorite! 
  Whatever you do, where ever you are, 
I hope you have a fun filled and joyous New Year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas 
and a Happy New Year!
May God Bless You and Yours!

Allergy Free Gingerbread Cookies - Take 2

My son decorated a foot sized gingerbread tree for a friend.
 I already have a family favorite gingerbread recipe on my blog that I had converted to being egg free and gluten free, but in reviewing the Maninis Multi-Purpose Flour Mix, I tried a new recipe.

I adapted this one from Food Network.

This cookie is a little different from most of the ones that I have come across, including in the ingredient list - black pepper.   I made this recipe twice.  Once with the black pepper and once without.  I also used the Maninis flour once and Better Batter the second time.  Either way, the black pepper would be a matter of preference.  I could live without it, whereas my kids liked it.  Also, I used maple syrup instead of molasses because my kids like the lighter flavor.    Also when making this, remember that if you like your gingerbread crispy, roll them thin.  If not, roll them thicker and they have a nice crust on the outside and soft on the inside. 
No matter you preferences, this really is a good cookie recipe. 


4 cups GF All Purpose Flour*
(be sure to spoon flour into the measuring cup)
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly milled black pepper (optional)
3/4 cup Spectrum Palm shortening
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup maple syrup or molasses
1 Ener-G egg made according to the package


In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, salt and pepper.

In a stand mixer mix the shortening and brown sugar until it is light an fluffy. 

Beat in the egg replacer and syrup or molasses. 

Slowly add the flour mixture to sugar mixture until it forms a ball. 

On a clean surface roll out your dough to your desired thickness.   
(My dough did not stick so I did not need to add extra flour to the surface.)

Cut out gingerbread men or other shape.  

Place on a parchment lined or lightly sprayed cookie sheet.

Bake at 350˚F for 7-10 minutes or until they are just browned around the edges.

Let cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes and transfer to a wire cooling rack. 

Frost with icing if you choose.  

Cook's Note:
* I tried this recipe with Maninis Flour and Better Batter Flour.   Whatever flour is your favorite be sure that it contains xanthan or guar gum, otherwise be sure to add it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Maninis Flour Mix Review

      Have you heard of Maninis Gluten free products?  

I hadn't until I got a Google Alert about them in my mailbox.    
    If you are allergic to beans or rice, then these flour mixes are a must for you!  They have several types of mixes- a multi grain bread mix, a country oat bread mix, a peasant bread mix, a pasta mix, and multi-purpose flour mix.  
That is enough to get anybody started eating great gluten free breads
 and baking delicious gluten free foods.  

     What is in their flours?  
Well, each mix has slightly different ingredients but the basis for most of their flours is :
organic millet
organic sorghum
 organic amaranth
Hi-maize resistant starch

For example, here is the ingredient list for their Multi Purpose Flour Mix. 

How do their breads cook up?

  The texture of the breads are light and airy.  The bread rose beautifully and fell very little after baking and cooling.   
I made the country oat bread and the peasant bread. They tasted just like the artisanal loaves you buy in your local supermarket bakery.

The loaf rose perfectly in my warm oven.
Just look at the height of that loaf after it was baked! 
It tasted as good as it looked!

Sliced up and ready for a slather of homemade strawberry jelly!

I made three loaves of their bread on different days and I had consistently great results. 
Different day - different loaf:

And the Peasant Bread was perfect to slice up and make into garlic bread as a side to a meal.

And their Multi-Purpose Flour Mix?

I also made gingerbread cookies with their Multi-Purpose Flour Mix.  
Everyone needs a good all purpose mix to make their favorite recipes.
And at Christmas time, you definitely need good gingerbread cookies!  
I used the Multi-Purpose Flour Mix in the adapted version of Food Network's Gingerbread Cookies. 
( I will post my adaption to that recipe in another post.)
I decided to try a recipe that I had never tried before.  After all, the sign of a good flour is to be able to try new or favorite recipes with your favorite all purpose mix. Having one or two good all purpose mixes is essential to the ease of cooking gluten free. 

The cookies turned out perfect!  
The dough was easy to roll out and needed no extra flour to prevent sticking.

The cookies baked up to a light golden brown.

We of course dipped them in a powdered sugar glaze.



Texture - A+
Taste - A+
Easy of Making - A+
Consistency of Results - A+

I would recommend this flour to anyone.  My family (those of us who can eat corn) loved the breads and the gingerbread cookies! 
 These mixes are well worth having in your pantry.  
Check out their website here.
If you can't get them locally you can order from their website. 
It's great to have another great product on the market to choose from!

Orange Drop Doughnuts made with Mashed Potatoes - Gluten Free,Dairy Free

With left over mashed potatoes in my refrigerator needing to be used up, I decided to try my hand at making gluten free drop doughnuts.  I adapted this recipe from Taste of Home.  These doughnuts are spiced up with orange peel and rolled in a sweet orange slurry.  Powdered sugar is optional for an extra sugar high.  The powdered sugar forms a crunchy sweet crust.


1/2 cup mashed potatoes ( made with dairy substitute for the butter and milk)
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp Ener-G egg replacer and 4 Tbsp hot water ( stir and set aside)
1/2 cup dairy free milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Peel of 1 orange, grated
1-1/2 cup GF all purpose flour ( I used Flour Gluten Free - 20OZ,(Better Batter) )
(be sure to spoon the flour into the measuring cup)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
Oil for deep frying

Orange slurry:
Juice of 1 fresh orange
1/4 cup sugar
*Mixed together well

In a large bowl mix the potatoes, sugar, egg replacer, dairy free milk, orange peel, and vanilla. 
Combine dry ingredients. 
Add dry ingredients to the potato mixture.
This will form a stiff dough.

Heat oil in an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer to 375°F. 
Drop tablespoonfuls (or teaspoons if you would like) of batter, a few at a time, into hot oil.
 Fry until golden brown on both sides. 
Drain on paper towels.

 Dip in orange juice slurry. 

 Roll in powdered sugar for an ultra sweet treat.

Plate them and serve them up!
Cook's Notes:
~Feel free to change out the orange for lemon or don't add any citrus peels at all.  
~I have to say, my kids of course loved the sugary coating.  I preferred mine with just the orange slurry.
~These doughnuts were dense and chewy.  My kids adored them, but I personally was looking for something a bit lighter.  So if you are looking for something like that then try these easy doughnut buttons.

Easy Doughnut (Buttons) holes - Gluten free

These doughnuts look more like buttons than holes and they are just as tasty.  As opposed to my other doughnut recipe that uses left over mashed potatoes, I wanted a lighter doughnut and this one hit the spot.  I made these with orange peel because I was still in an orangey mood,  but you can easily make these without the citrus peels.  I adapted this recipe from All Recipes.

1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
Peel of 1 orange (about 1 Tbsp)
1-1/2 tsp of Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 4 Tbsp dairy free milk
2 Tbsp shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups GF all purpose flour (I used Better Batter)
(be sure to spoon flour into the measuring cup)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Oil for deep frying

Choice of Toppings
~cinnamon sugar
~powdered sugar
~melted dairy free chocolate

In a stand mixer cream together sugar and shortening until fluffy.
Beat in orange juice, orange peel, egg replacer, and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.
Beat flour mixture into the sugar mixture , adding flour a little at a time until a dough forms.
Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Roll about 1/4-1/3 inch thick.
Cut dough with a circle cutter.
 I used an egg cup dipped in flour.
Heat oil in a deep skillet or deep fryer to about 375˚ F.
Fry doughnuts about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.  
Turn doughnuts over once during frying.
They should be golden brown. 
Drain on paper towels.  
Dust with your favorite topping.  
These were dipped in cinnamon sugar and then sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Cook's Notes:

~If you want to make these plain, use 1/4 cup of dairy free milk mixed with 1 Tbsp vinegar instead of orange juice.  Omit the orange peel and use 1-1/2 tsp of Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 2 Tbsp of hot water instead of the stated 4 Tbsp of milk.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chocolate Gingerbread Houses - Gluten and Dairy Free

  I saw this idea in a magazine to make these quick gingerbread houses and this dense, moist chocolate gingerbread cake holds its shape well to make these bite size morsels.


1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp xanthan gum 
1/4 cup unsweetened dutch cocoa
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup maple syrup or molasses
4 Tbsp flax meal mixed with 1 cup hot water (let sit for 10 minutes)
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
prepared chocolate frosting to serve as glue
powdered sugar for dusting


Prepare your flax egg by mixing the 4 Tbsp of flax meal with 1 cup of hot water.
Set aside for 10 minutes.
Mix all the dry ingredients - teff flour, brown rice flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, crystallized ginger, allspice, cloves, xanthan gum, salt and cocoa.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment add oil and sugar and mix until resembles wet sand.
Mix in maple syrup or molasses and pumpkin until blended.

Alternating  between wet ingredients (flax egg and boiling water) and dry ingredients, add these to the sugar mixture.  Start with the dry ingredients and end with dry ingredients. 

Pour batter into a 9x11 inch pan.
Bake at 350˚F for 25-30 minutes or until done.  

Let cool completely before cutting. 
Cut into cubes.
Cut one cube on a diagonal.
This will be the roof of your house.

Assemble your house.  
Place one square on the bottom and a triangle on the top.   
To glue these together use a dab of chocolate frosting. 

 Sprinkle with  powdered sugar for a snowy effect.  

If you want a chimney, use a gluten free candy cane.  

Assemble the rest of your houses.