Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Corn Free Grape Jelly


     I used to make Cocktail Meatballs ( a jar of grape jelly and a jar of cocktail sauce) for the holidays and special occasions, but finding a corn free grape jelly was impossible.
    I made these at Thanksgiving and they turned out great!  This recipe uses Pomona's Universal Pectin.
 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups organic concord grape juice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 12 tsp  calcium water (make water according to instructions*)
  • 4 tsp pectin powder (make according to instructions*)
Directions:
  1. Make calcium water (*1/2 tsp white calcium powder and 1/2 cup water in a small jar,  mix well).  Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan pour in grape juice and sugar.   Over medium heat, stirring occasionally bring mixture to a boil.
  3. While the grape juice is coming to a boil, make your pectin.  (*Bring 3/4 cups of water to a boil.  Put water in a blender and add 4 tsp of pectin powder.  Blend on high 1-2 minutes until all the powder is dissolved, vent lid.)
  4. When juice mixture reaches a boil, remove from heat.  Add pectin, stir well.
  5. Add 12 tsp of calcium water, stir.  
  6. Pour into sterilized jars leaving 1/2" space from the top.  
Cook's Notes:

  • I made this jelly to use immediately, if you want to store this for the long term, I would follow Pomona's suggestion by adding lemon juice along with sugar.   Process like normal.  After filling the jars, process the jars for 10 minutes in a water bath/ steam canner.  
  • One thing I like about Pomona's Pectin is that they give great suggestions if your batch doesn't jell enough, if it jells too much, and if it isn't sweet enough, or if it is cloudy.   Their pectin is very forgiving.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

C4C flour recipe Gluten Free Cardamom Bread

I only have cardamon bread once a year in my house and it is that time of year!  I have memories of my sister cooking this during the holiday season.    
This bread is soft and luscious.  It is sightly sweet with just the right amount of cardamon.  
The smell of the cardamon wafting through the air is amazing. 


Ingredients
4 cups C4C flour (spooned into a measuring cup)
1 cup scalded milk*
1/2 cup water
1 TBSP yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter (warm)
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1 egg for egg wash

Directions
Scald your milk and set aside.  Let cool until warm.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, dissolve yeast in warm water.    
Dissolve for 5 minutes.
Fit your stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
Mix in sugar, milk, egg, melted butter.
In a separate bowl mix together flour, salt, and cardamon.
Add flour slowly to yeast mixture until all the flour has been added.  
Beat for 3 minutes on high speed.
Dough will be stiff and slightly sticky.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide into three pieces.
Roll each piece into a long roll ( about 12-14 inches) on a greased cookie sheet.
Braid the three pieces together.  
Cover and let rise in a warm place for 40-60 minutes.
Beat an egg and brush dough with egg wash.
Bake at 375 ˚F for 25-35 minutes or until done. 
(Cover with aluminum foil if the bread is browning to fast and uncover the last few minutes before it finishes cooking.)
Let cool.

My braided bread burst open in the oven.  
This may be undesirable, but I have to tell you it was still beautiful to me. 


Cooking Notes:
*Scalding milk - is milk that has been heated just to the boiling point.   To do this get a heavy bottomed sauce pan that so that you can avoid hot spots.  Over medium heat, stir milk regularly until bubbles form around the edges and the milk is just about to boil.  Stirring regularly prevents a film from forming. 
 Turn off and let cool down before using.   
Scalding milk helps make the bread lighter. 

Busted Braid - I haven't been able to figure out why my braid burst.  I looked around and found a recipe for a braided challah bread from Zoe and Jeff Hertzberg's (author's of Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day) bread.  After they let their dough rise, it rested in the refrigerator for at least three hours, before being baked in a preheated oven.  The pictures of their finished bread showed that it didn't burst.  You can look at it here.   Just a thought for next time.  I will try and see if that curtails the problem.   

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gluten Free Make Ahead Breakfast Cake using C4C flour

     This is another childhood favorite.  I absolutely love the moist fluffy cake with the slightly crunchy cinnamon sugar topping.  This recipe turns out delicious using the C4C flour!


Ingredients:
Batter
1-1/2 cups C4C flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup Spectrum  Palm Shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping
4 Tbsp C4C flour
3Tbsp Spectrum Palm Shortening or coconut oil
6  Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

Topping
In a small bowl mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and cut in the shortening.  Set aside.

Batter
In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Cut in the shortening.

Make a well in the flour,  add the milk, egg, and extract.

Stir until well mixed.  

Pour into an 8"x8" square pan that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

Sprinkle on topping.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

To bake
Remove the plastic wrap.  Cook at 375˚F for 30 - 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  

Light and fluffy!





Gluten Free Buttermilk Waffles using C4C flour - yeast free


      This recipe is the waffle recipe I grew up on.  I have fond memories of my mother baking these for breakfast on special occasions.  The recipe comes from the first edition Ladies Home Journal cookbook.  It was one of my mother's first cookbooks from when she got married.  I still remember the cookbook because of the red fabric binding with gold lettering.  I remember when I learned to cook that I used this cookbook often to make these waffles. 
     These waffles taste just the same as I remember!  
Wonderful!


Ingredients:
3 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1-1/2 cup C4C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 Tbsp oil

Directions:
Separate the eggs and beat the yolks until thick. 
Add the buttermilk and mix until blended.



In a bowl mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

Add the yolk mixture and beat until smooth.  The batter was elastic like.

Mix in the oil into the batter.

Beat your egg whites until they form stiff peaks.



Fold the egg whites into the batter.


Once the egg whites are fully incorporated....

Place batter on a heated waffle iron.  I had to spread my batter on the iron.
Cook until done and serve hot!

Makes about seven belgium waffles.

Enjoy Life Oven Baked Chewy Bars Review-New Look, Improved Taste

Four choices!
Enjoy Life has four choices of their oven baked chewy bars.  While these are bars are not new, the taste is much improved.  We tried the chocolate and very berry bars about two years ago, and after tasting them we didn't buy them again. 

So why try them again now?  Because they have improved their recipe!  

Our family tried all four flavors - Caramel Apple, Cocoa Loco, Sunbutter Crunch, and Very Berry.

I was surprised by the results.  First, they were much better than they were two years ago.  

Here is the report card:



Cocoa Loco: A
Everyone loved these.  These are chewy bars that remind me slightly of a tootsie roll in a bar. 


Sunbutter Crunch: A
These were also very popular with my kids.  They reminded my kids of a peanut butter bar.


Very Berry: C
Every one thought these were kinda blah - not very exciting in flavor.  In a blind fold test I wouldn't be able to guess the flavor of this bar. 


Caramel Apple: D
No one in our family liked these.  The caramel just didn't taste like caramel in these bars. 

THE VERDICT:
  • Improved taste from two years ago. 
  • Recommend giving them another try if you didn't care for them previously. 
  • Bars are great to throw in your purse or backpack (especially if you hike), or as a quick snack to tide you over until you can eat a meal.   
  • The kids love them!  Representing the adult opinion - the taste was good but I am not a big chewy fan.  



Friday, November 11, 2011

Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Walnut Muffins- Dairy and Egg Free

    In my inbox this morning was a wonderful recipe from King Arthur's and their Whole Wheat Vegan Cranberry Muffins. 
    I love cranberry muffins!  What's more is that this wonderful recipe didn't have eggs, butter, or milk!  Instead they used tomato juice!  This recipe was a great one to convert to gluten free.  I love one stop changes to quick and easy eats.   All you have to do is make sure that your all purpose gluten free flour includes xanthan gum or guar gum.    I opted to skip the tomato juice, and used my favorite orange juice instead.  You can use a juice that is around the same acidity to cause the reaction with the baking soda.  Tomato juice has an pH around 4 and orange juice has one that is around 3.4 to 3.6.  Pineapple juice could also work with a pH of around 3.6.
    This was a great muffin and I added my own favorite streusel topping.  Super YUM!
 Here is the easily adapted version of their muffin.  Just another reason to subscribe to their newsletter.

Dry Ingredients:
2-1/4 cup of GF all purpose flour 
( I used Better Batter but make sure your favorite flour has xanthan gum)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp gf baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts (optional if allergic)

Wet Ingredients:
1 tsp gf vanilla extract
1/2 cup oil
1-1/2 cup of orange juice

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. 
Stir until just combined.

Spoon the batter into paper lined muffin tins.  Fill to about 2/3 full.
Bake at 400˚F for about 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean. 
Moist and Delicious!



Homemade Poultry Seasoning

 
     I have avoided making stuffing at Thanksgiving because I have one child that is allergic to sage.  Go figure!  To make gluten free stuffing I would not only have to make the bread myself, but also make my own poultry seasoning.  I finally found enough time to work on it with success.
     I tested this recipe with the sage.  I needed to know that it tasted like regular poultry seasoning before I started excluding ingredients.  Now I have a base recipe where I can exclude anything that we are allergic to.

1 Tbsp parsley
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp sage
1-1/2 tsp majoram
1/2 tsp rosemary, ground
1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground
1/2 tsp black pepper

Mix together and place in an airtight container.  Makes 1/4 cup of seasoning.
Use 2-3 Tablespoons per 8 cups of dried bread, according to your taste.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Gluten Free Fried Shrimp

   
     My kids use to love eating fried shrimp.  They haven't had it in ages because we couldn't find gluten free, milk free, and egg free fried shrimp.
     Of course with all those restrictions you know you have to make it yourself.  I have never made homemade fried shrimp before.  I searched around the internet until I found one that sounded like me and came up with this one.  This tweaked recipe was a hit in our house.  I adapted this recipe from the Neely's. 

Ingredients:

Eggless-Egg Wash
1 cup of dairy free buttermilk ( 1 cup of dairy free milk plus 2 Tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice)
1 Ener-G egg replacer egg made according to package
1 Tbsp of Creole mustard
1 Tbsp hot sauce

Batter
1 cup GF All Purpose Flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup finely crushed potato chips
4 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne ( 2 tsp if you want it to be more spicy)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1-1/2 pounds of shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt to taste

Directions:
Preheat your deep fryer to 375˚ F.

Whisk together your Ener-G egg, dairy free buttermilk, mustard, and hot sauce in a shallow dish.

Blend together all the flour ingredients.

Dredge shrimp in eggless wash, batter, eggless wash, and batter.   Let sit a few minutes before frying to let the batter firm up.   Add shrimp in small batches to the fryer ( don't crowd the basket) and cook for about 3 minutes a batch.

Drain on a paper towel, then serve.

Cook's Notes:

Creole Mustard - I didn't have any on hand and used my homemade mustard instead.  I did looked up a substitute for creole mustard-- mix yellow mustard mixed with GF Worchestire sauce and hot sauce.

Crushed Potato Chips - I used my blender to make these as fine as I could.  These replaced the corn meal in the original recipe.

Spicy Remoulade Sauce - this sauce was listed with the original fried shrimp recipe.  Click the Neely's link above to check out the sauce recipe.  I didn't use it but it looked good.  It could easily be converted to an allergy free recipe.  The biggest ingredient is the mayonnaise, so if you can have that or an alternative, you should be good to go.



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chocolate Pecan Pie - Gluten Free, Egg Free, Corn Free





I have heard wonderful things about chocolate pecan pie and always wanted to try one. 
 I finally made time to cook one up before Thanksgiving.  
The results were scrumptious!  
This pie reminded me of a cookie dough pie with nuts.  It was really, really good.  It doesn't taste like the classic pecan pie but it is a great tasting pie within its own rights.  

I will be making this again!  It is now on the list as one of my kids favorites.

Ingredients:

1 gluten free pie crust
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dairy free shortening ( I used Spectrum)
2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp flax meal + 6 Tbsp of hot water, let sit for 10 minutes)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup  GF All purpose flour ( I used Better Batter, be sure that your favorite flour has xanthan gum)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups Enjoy Life chocolate chips or mega chunks
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
1 cup pecans whole or chopped, may need more if using whole depending on the size of your pecans to cover the whole pie

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350˚F

In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar, brown sugar, and shortening.  
Beat in flax eggs, salt, vanilla extract, and flour.  
Stir in chocolate chips and optional coconut.  


Pour batter into pie shell.
Arrange nuts on the top of the batter.




Bake at 350˚F for 30 minutes.


Let cool.  Serve.



**To make extra special, serve with dairy free vanilla ice cream....ooooo yeah!

Friday, November 4, 2011

C4C had a Tea Party! and Recipes!

I received an invitation to the Per Se Restaurant to celebrate the launch of Thomas Keller's new flour.  It was a dream come to true for a mommy - blogger of many kids, who if you peeped through a spy glass, you would see a crazy lady darting from here to there, ringing dinner bells (we really have one!), preparing and administering medicine, rambling on about the stone age, while chopping veggies for the soup for lunch.  Suddenly she stops and gives the shout out for diaper changes.  It would have been awesome to go, but my reality was calling me loudly!  

I was eager to read the review by Regina Schrambling about the tea party.  I was glad to hear that they served wonderful foods ( reading what they served made my mouth water!)  

It was wonderful to learn that C4C has begun adding recipes to its website.  For all of you who wanted recipes you can check out it out here.   

If you want to try C4C flour, you can now make a meal with his flour using the recipe for buttermilk fried chicken,  bacon-comte biscuits and spiced apple cupcakes for dessert.  My goodness that sounds goooood!!!

   I have also made a few of my favorites with his flour Gluten Free Buttermilk Waffles and Gluten Free Make Ahead Breakfast Cake .

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gluten Free, Egg Free, Corn Free Pecan Pie


I can't even think of having Thanksgiving without a pecan pie.  I love my mother's pecan pie but my kids can't enjoy it because it is made with corn syrup and eggs.  
 I made this one so my kids can enjoy my favorite Thanksgiving pie!  
ENJOY!


Ingredients:
  • 1 GF pie crust ( I use Nicole Hunn's Sweet Pie Crust Recipe)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dairy free shortening  (I used Spectrum)
  • 2 flax eggs ( 2 Tbsp flax meal + 6 Tbsp hot water, let sit for 10 minutes)
  • 1 Tbsp GF All Purpose flour ( I used Better Batter)
  • 1 Tbsp dairy free milk (I used coconut milk) 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 cups pecans (chopped or whole - depending on how many you like*)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream brown sugar, sugar and shortening.
Beat in flax eggs, flour, milk, and vanilla extract.
Arrange one layer of pecans on the bottom of the shell.  
Pour batter atop the nuts.


Bake at 400˚F for 10 minutes. 
Remove from oven and arrange a second layer of nuts on top of the batter.
Reduce temperature to 350˚F and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.  
Pie is done when it is stiff enough to lightly push down on and jiggles only slightly. 
(The knife in the pie test didn't work here for me.)
Let cool completely.  Serve.

Cook's Notes:

Once cooled down, I refrigerated mine overnight before eating.  
I like to eat my pie cold. 

*Choose how many pecans you like to use.  I love pecans but you don't have to have a double layer. 
Some people like them chopped and mixed into the batter itself.  I haven't done this, so I am not sure if the pie would be as pretty on top.  
You can easily just use one layer of whole pecans, or sprinkle the top with chopped pecans.







Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gluten Free, Corn Free Twix® Recipe- We call them Fwix (Fake Twix)

     Halloween is over, but who doesn't love eating candy all year long!  
Here is a recipe for a dairy free, gluten free, corn free candy favorite!



Shortbread Layer:
1/3 cup dairy free shortening ( I used Spectrum palm oil shortening)
1/2 cup powdered sugar (make sure it is corn free)
1-1/2 cup GF All Purpose Flour ( I used Better Batter or make sure you favorite flour contains xanthan or guar gum.)
1 Ener-G egg made according to package
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp of vanilla extract

Caramel Layer:
1/2 cup dairy free shortening (I used Spectrum)
1-1/4 cup packed brown sugar
6Tbsp  coconut milk
1/4 cup Lyle's Golden Syrup 
2 Tbsp agave syrup or honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Layer:
1 (10 ounce) bag of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips or your favorite chocolate
2 Tbsp of oil




FOR THE CRUST: 
1) Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Spray a 8" x 8" tart pan lightly with cooking spray, or line a square pan with parchment that hangs over the sides so that it will be easy to remove.
2) In a stand mixer cream together the shortening and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in Ener-G egg and vanilla.   Add the flour and salt, beat well.  The mixture will appear coarse and dry.  
3) Press the stiff dough evenly into the pan until it forms a solid dough.

4) Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden brown.  Don't worry if there are small cracks.  The caramel will act like glue.


5) Set it aside to cool completely.
FOR THE CARAMEL LAYER:


1) Place 1/2 cup of shortening in a medium saucepan.    Over low to medium heat, melt the shortening.


2) When it is almost melted, add the sugar, milk, Lyle's syrup, and agave.



3) Turn the heat up to medium.  Stir the mixture and let it come to a boil.  Be sure to stir every now and then.  

4) Once it begins boiling, turn down to low- medium heat.  Place a candy thermometer on the side of the pan.  

5) From this point on, stir constantly until the temperature reaches 235˚F.  This can take quite some time, depending on your stove.  Having made several batches of these, it took me from 40-60 minutes.  During the process it will get foamy and thicken.  

6) Once you reach temperature, remove from heat.  Stir in salt and vanilla extract.

7) Pour caramel atop the shortbread layer.  Let cool until it sets, this usually takes a few hours.  This can also sit overnight and you can cut and pour chocolate on the next day.  

8) Lift the shortbread caramel layer out of the pan.  Cut into one inch strips with a very sharp knife, or pizza cutter.  Cut in half again to make four inch pieces.



FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER: 

1) In a microwave proof bowl, place chocolate chips and oil.  Microwave at 30 second intervals (depending on the wattage of your microwave) and stir until the chocolate melts.  

2) On a piece of wax paper, place a wire cooling rack.  Place the caramel shortbread cookies on the rack and spoon the chocolate on the cookies.  Spread more chocolate on the edges and move it down the sides.  Spread like you are frosting the sides of a cake, being sure to cover all the sides.  

This is when I made a batch with light brown sugar instead of the dark brown.

3)  Let chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until it sets. 

4) Serve immediately.  Makes 16 bars.

Notes: 
1.  Cooking the caramel to different temperatures makes a difference.  If you want a hard caramel, cook it to 248˚ F.  It will turn out like the above finished picture.    With the caramel that hard, it reminded me more a toffee in its hardness.  I preferred chewy caramel and thus cooked it too 235˚F, per instructions.
Make the caramel to your tastes.
Chewy Caramel.
2.  You can add more vanilla, and salt according to your taste.  Some like to add rum extract as well.  Make the adjustments to your taste.  

3.  We couldn't wait to dip the bottoms in chocolate.  We scarfed them down.  If you want to, feel free to make more melted chocolate and dip the refrigerated sticks to cover the bottoms.