What Life Dishes Out A Gluten Free and (almost) Vegetarian Cooking Blog

December 6, 2010

Holiday Cookie Swap and Ugly Sweater Party – A New Tradition

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:27 am

Have you ever been to a Cookie Exchange?   I attended an event many years ago at a friend’s house (Hi, Michele!) and it was a blast.  The premise is that each guest brings several dozen cookies, to match the number of attendees, and an extra dozen to share.   Each participant then only has to bake one variety of cookie, but goes home with several different kinds!   

We decided to combine the Cookie Exchange with an Ugly Sweater Party.  Have you heard of these?  Apparently, there are entire websites devoted to the topic and to the purchase of the most hideous holiday garments you could ever imagine.  Who woulda thunkit?

Anyway, none of us went the route of the $15 hideous sweater from a website…we all picked up our garish garments at the local Salvation Army Store for a mere couple dollars or borrowed one from a friend or family member.  This is one of the cases where the less you spend, the better.  After all, we are going for UGLY here. 

Each of us enhanced our gaudy garb with varying degrees of holiday baubles. 

In addition to voting on the most awful outfit, we’d also be awarding prizes for the best dressed cookies.  Each dozen had to be individually packaged and guests were told to be creative and original!  We had some really nicely packaged entries covering the table.

My friend Kelly commissioned her two girls’ to help with her packaging (below back left).  My sister-in-law’s amazing biscotti were beautifully displayed in these mesh and metal baskets (below middle back).  My niece and I were both very surprised to find that we used the same style tins for our cookies (below front left)! 

My tins contained Gluten Free Peanut Butter Blossoms.

We also awarded a prize for the best tasting cookie.  It was a really, really tough competition!  Everybody’s entries were freshly made and really, really delicious.   

 

My niece went home the winner of the cookie contest!

Her Almond-Raspberry Jam Thumbprints were to die for!

My sister-in-law took home the prize for Ugliest Sweater!

It’s not that her sweater was really terribly ugly, but it was over-the-top cutesy and required no embellishment to standout!  Her outfit did not come from the second hand store or a trashbin either  – it came from our Mother-In-Law’s closet!  My father-in-law (bless his heart) bought my MIL this sweater not too long ago.  Yes, he was serious.  He has such a knack for fashion, doesn’t he? 😉 

We all had a good time and agree that we need to make this an annual tradition.  The really cool thing is that there are now enough cookies in the house to get us through Christmas without additional baking!  The only trouble is not all of the entries are gluten free so I will be attempting conversion of these recipes soon – especially the Biscotti and Jam Thumbprints – so Spawn #1 can enjoy them, too!

Thanks to all my wonderful girlfreinds for participating in the Cookie Exchange, and for your photo contributions for this post!  Happy Holidays!!!

November 29, 2010

Magical Mushrooms & “Meaty” Vegetarian Chili

Filed under: Recipes,Soups,Vegan,Vegetarian,Veggies — Tags: , , , , , , , , — admin @ 7:27 pm

Mushrooms are magical.  No, not those kind of mushrooms.  I’m talking about the regular ones.

Minced and cooked, these gems can stand in for meat, bringing an earthy, almost meaty flavor and texture that is way more authentic tasting than any processed soy granules.  Healthier, too!

When I set out to make Chili last weekend, I searched the web and found numerous Vegetarian Chili recipes, and a few called for mushrooms.  It was one of those “Aha Moments”.  I knew that instead of the bag of TVP in my cupboard that I’d had in mind, I’d be using the giant package of fresh mushrooms in my refrigerator. 

Another component of many of the vegetarian chilis were vegetables not traditionally used for chili, like zuchinni and corn.  But I wanted a chili that looked and tasted like real chili.   So, I did what I do best…I adapted.

This recipe is loosely based on an Emeril Lagasse recipe for Vegetarian Chili, which can be found here.

You’ll need:

2 Tbsp Canola Oil

1 large Onion

2 medium Bell Peppers – Red or Green

4-5 cloves Garlic

2 Serrano or Jalapeno Peppers

20 ounces fresh Mushrooms

2 Tbsp Chili Powder

2 tsp Cumin

1 1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Cayenne

1/4 tsp Pepper

3 large Tomatoes

2 – 15 oz cans beans – I used Red Kidney and Black

1 – 15 oz can Tomato Sauce

1 cup Water

What to do:

Prepare vegetables.  First, chop onion.

Chop Bell Peppers.

Mince Serrano Pepper (remove seeds if you don’t like it very spicy) and Garlic.  I used a food processor to get them very fine.

Chop Mushrooms into very small pieces (think burger meat size).  Again, I used my food processor to make this job easy. 

Chop Tomato.

(Oops!  No photo – sorry!)

Rinse and drain beans.

In a large stockpot, heat Canola Oil.  Add Onions, Peppers, Serrano and Garlic and cook until onions start to become translucent.

Add Mushrooms to pot. 

Cook for a few minutes, then add spices and stir for 30 seconds before adding tomato, beans, tomato sauce, and water.

Cook chili over medium heat, stirring often for about 20  30 minutes before serving.

Serve garnished with shredded cheese and sour cream (if desired), beside a hunk of Cornbread or Tortilla Chips. 

This was so Yummy!  The mushrooms really did a great job standing in for the burger meat.  I never would have known the difference, except maybe for the lack of grease!

While were on the subject of mushrooms, have you ever seen a Fairy Ring?  I had always been told that when you found a ring of mushrooms in the grass, you knew the fairies has been dancing there the night before.  

 See?  Mushrooms really are magical.

We were out playing tennis at a nearby park one day last summer and as happens frequently with unskilled players like us, the ball kept going over the fence (never mind that the fence reaches practically to the sky, we somehow managed to still hit it out of bounds over and over again).   During one ball retrieval trip, I spotted this ring of mushrooms and called everyone over to take a look.  My friend snapped this photo, which I just love.

To learn more about fairy rings and their true cause, check it out here.  I, however, am going to hang onto my belief that it really is a mark of the fairies’ recent visit.

November 17, 2010

Gluten Free Classic Criss-Cross Peanut Butter Cookies

Filed under: cookies — Tags: , , , — admin @ 5:49 pm

 

Somebody pour me a big glass of milk! 

This recipe come from Easy Gluten Free Baking by Elizabeth Barbone.  This cookbook is pretty new to my shelf and is the only GF cookbook I own besides Annalise Roberts’ Gluten Free Baking Classics.   Both of these books have proven to be invaluable to me in satisfying the need for Gluten Free treats for Spawn #1, while still satisfying the tastebuds of every family member.

I had previous cookie success with Peanut Butter Blossoms when using the recipe posted by Kim of  Gluten Free Is Life which she had converted from recipe on the back of the Hershey Kiss Bag.  I’ll be making those cookies again in a couple weeks when it’s time to start the Holiday baking.  But today, when I asked my son which cookies from the book he wanted to try first, this was his choice.  It was a good call.

You’ll need:

3/4 cup White Rice Flour

1/4 cup Brown Rice Flour

1/4 cup Sweet Rice Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/3 cup Butter, softened

1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter

3/4 cup packed Brown Sugar

1 large Egg

1 tsp Vanilla

1/2 cup granulated Sugar

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.

In small bowl, whisk together Flours, Baking Soda, and Baking Powder.

In bowl of stand mixer, combine butter, peanut butter and brown sugar until creamy.

Add egg and vanilla and blend until thoroughly combined.

Add dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms.

Wrap dough and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls, roll each ball in granulated sugar, then place on baking sheet. 

Press the tines of  a fork into each ball, pressing down gently.

Press again the opposite direction to form a criss-cross pattern.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes until light golden.

Cool on pan for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack.

Enjoy with a large glass of milk!

November 14, 2010

Gluten Free Belgian Waffles

Filed under: breakfast,Recipes,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , — admin @ 3:31 pm

Just look at ’em.  Oh, they taste just as good as they look, too!

I only tried Gluten Free Waffles one other time.  They were a disaster.  I resorted to frozen Trader Joe’s waffles for my Gluten-Intolerant Spawn when I would make the rest of the family the regular wheat-based waffles from my tried-and-true recipe I’d been using for years.  With the discovery of this recipe though, those days are gone. 

I seriously could barely discern any difference between these and my regular waffles.  

In all fairness, these aren’t very nutritious.  The recipe, from Easy Gluten Free Baking, by Elizabeth Barbone (she was also responsible for the miraculous Gluten Free Sandwich Bread recipe that became our everyday bread and finally evolved into a few more variations, including my Mock Wheat and Mock Rye loaves) is made with White Rice Flours, rather than my usual Brown Rice Flour blend.  But the way I see it, the traditional waffles made with processed white flour were lacking in that department as well.   No matter…who eats waffles more than once a week anyway?

I altered the original recipe slightly with the addition of a bit of Xanthan Gum and Vanilla.  I also did amp up the nutrition in mine by adding chopped pecans and flaxseed to the batter after pouring it onto the waffle iron.  My kids won’t tolerate such nonsense though, so their waffles were made plain and served up with powdered sugar and maple syrup.  I’ll make them eat a salad for lunch.

This batter was also easier to put together than my traditional waffles.  That alone is reason enough to make these instead on an early sleepy weekend morning.

You’ll need:

1/2 cup White Rice Flour

1/4 cup Cornstarch

1/4 cup Sweet Rice Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum

1 tsp Sugar

2 large Eggs

1 1/2 cups Buttermilk (or Whole Milk with 1 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice stirred in)

2 Tbsp Butter, melted

1 tsp Vanilla

What to do:

Whisk together all dry ingredients in mixing bowl.

Add Buttermilk, Eggs, Vanilla and Melted Butter to bowl.

Whisk together until well blended. 

If batter appears too thin (it should be at least the consistency of heavy whipping cream), add up to 2 Tbsp rice flour to the mix.

Bake in waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions.  If you would like to add nuts or seeds to your waffles, sprinkle any additions over the batter before closing the lid on the waffle maker.

Serve with butter, powdered sugar and maple syrup!

November 13, 2010

Creamy Coleslaw: A Thanksgiving Staple

 

I’ve never been one to load up my plate with all the various side-dishes at Thanksgiving.  If I’m going to stuff myself silly (which is certainly a given on Turkey Day) then it’s going to be with only my favorites; Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Corn, Green Beans, and Cranberry Sauce.  But there is one more player who always makes it onto my plate and without whom I feel Thanksgiving Dinner would not be complete.  I may ignore the Veggie Casserole.  I may shun the Candied Yams.  I will likely say “No, thanks!” to the Salads.  But I always, always, always have room for a bit of Coleslaw on my plate. 

(Oh, drool!  Now I can’t wait for Thanksgiving!  Less than 2 weeks to go!!!)

Last year was the first year that I actually used my Mother’s China for Thanksgiving dinner.  My husband’s Grandmother had given me her Silverware a few weeks before and I knew she would enjoy my using it for the Holiday.  My own Mother’s Silverware had been poorly stored, and years of neglect had left it tarnished beyond repair.  But Grandma had kept hers pristine in a felt-lined silver case and it barely even needed polishing.  I’ve since learned that the best way to keep Silver nice is to use it often and although we won’t be dining with it daily (as Grandma did in her early married years), from now on it will be on the table for any occasion that warrants it!  Not surprisingly, the food actually tasted better served on real China instead of Chinet!  :-)

To make this Coleslaw, you’ll need:

1 small-medium head Cabbage

2 whole Carrots

2 Tbsp Onion, finely minced (optional)

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1/2 cup Mayonnaise

2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar (or White Distilled Vinegar)

2 Tbsp Sugar

1 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Salt

What to do:

Wash cabbage, cut in half root to tip, and cut each half in half again.

Cut the core, on a diagonal, from each quarter.

Cut each quarter in half again, then slice very thinly down the length of each piece.

This is my husband chopping.  Just look at him go!

Repeat with remaining eighths until all the cabbage is shredded.

Place cabbage in a large bowl, and set aside.

Wash, peel, and shred carrots.  I use a microplane grater for this job.

Now, here’s a recent trick we use:  We like a decent amount of carrot in our Slaw, but if you use too much, often the slaw gets an orange-y tint to it.  Here’s how to solve that problem:

(I really have to credit by husband with this brainy rinsing idea.)

After you rinse all the orange-ness down the drain, place strainer over a bowl and let the moisture drip out of the carrots.  Give them a squeeze or two with your hand to remove any remaining water, then place in the bowl with the cabbage.

Toss cabbage and carrots together, then set bowl aside.

In a smaller bowl, or large glass measuring cup, place 1/2 cup Sour Cream and 1/2 cup Mayonnaise (NOT Salad Dressing).

Add 2 Tbsp Vinegar (I used Rice Vinegar),

2 Tbsp Sugar,

1 tsp Pepper

and 1 tsp Salt.

Whisk together until mixture is smooth.

At this point, you can taste and add more salt, pepper, sugar or vinegar as needed. 

The goal is to not have the dressing taste too sweet or too tart. 

If it tastes too vinegar-y, add sugar and vice-versa. 

Pour the dressing onto the cabbage mixture, and be sure to get every last drop!

If you are so inclined, add the minced onion now to the cabbage/dressing mixture.   Some folks don’t go for onion, and it’s okay to leave it out if that’s how you roll.

Mix everything together, until all the cabbage is well coated. 

Cover bowl, and refrigerate at least several hours.  You’ll want to give this another taste just before serving and then season with salt and pepper as needed.

Since Thanksgiving is still a couple weeks away, this batch won’t be making it onto our Holiday table.  But I do have big plans for this Slaw….so stay tuned! :-)

November 12, 2010

(Almost) Too Good To Be True: Gluten Free “Mock Rye” Bread

Filed under: Breads,Recipes,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 1:03 pm

Wheat, Rye and Barley are to the Gluten Intolerant what Kryptonite is to Superman.  (Don’t you just love analogies?).  If I didn’t know better, I’d think this bread was on the Naughty List.  But, just because it tastes like Rye Bread, doesn’t mean it is Rye Bread. 

This is really my Mock Wheat Bread masquerading as Rye.  A double-masquerade, if you will.

Fortunately, this is easy to make, because it will be gone in no time.  My kids have managed to devour half a loaf in under 24 hours.  Even the non-gluten-intolerant Spawn finds this bread irresistable.  I would recommend doubling the recipe below if you know what’s good for you.  I am baking another loaf as we speak.

Unlike most of my posts, I won’t be step-by-stepping this one with photos.  If you would prefer that kind of guidance (or just enjoy looking at photos of mixers and flour or other raw food goods), hop on over to my Mock Wheat Bread post, and  just remember to add the Caraway seeds in with the dry ingredients.  Otherwise, the recipe is identical.

You’ll need:

2 1/2 Cups Brown Rice Flour Mix*

1/3 Cup Cornstarch

1/3 Cup Teff Flour

2/3 Cup Dry Milk Powder

2 Tbsp Caraway Seeds

1 Tbsp Xanthan Gum

1 tsp Salt

1 Pkg Active Dry Yeast

1 3/4 Cups Warm Water (110 degrees)

2 Tbsp Canola Oil

2 Large Eggs

*(Brown Rice Flour Mix – 2 parts Brown Rice Flour, 1/3 part Tapioca Starch, 2/3 part Potato Starch)

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Oil a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with Canola Oil and line bottom with Parchment Paper.

Place all dry ingredients (including yeast) in mixing bowl of stand mixer.

Blend until well combined.

Add add water, eggs and oil to dry ingredients.

Mix on low speed just until combined.

Scrape down sides of bowl.

Beat on high speed for 5 minutes.

Pour into prepared pan.

Smooth top with a wettened spatula.

Cover pan loosely with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Let rise for 55 minutes or until the dough just reaches top of pan.

Remove plastic wrap and bake for 55 minutes or until quick read thermometer reads 208 degrees.

Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then loosen sides with knife and remove to wire rack.

Cool completely before slicing.

Store in airtight container or plastic bag for 2-3 days on counter, or refrigerate for longer storage.  Although I have a suspicion, you won’t need to even think about longer storage! :-)

November 1, 2010

Snickers Bar Trifle – The Perfect Halloween Birthday “Cake”

My husband loves Snickers Bars.  You probably won’t believe me when I tell you that his breakfast each morning is usually a half a Snickers and a Banana.  Really.

So, for this birthday (which falls on Halloween – and for those who know him well, this explains a lot!),  I decided to incorporate his favorite candy into the dessert which would bear the 40-something candles he’ll be blowing out.

Just because this is sort of  Halloween themed with the candy ‘n all, doesn’t mean that you can’t make this for any Birthday or other special occasion.  Trifles are incredibly easy to do – yet they look spectacularly fancy – and can be varied to include your favorite candies, fruits, or other flavors. 

Late this summer, when my garden Raspberries were abundant, I made a Gluten Free Rasberry Chocolate Trifle for a Labor Day picnic we attended.   The base was GF Brownies, soaked in Raspberry Sauce, layered with Chocolate Pudding and Whipped Cream, then topped with fresh garden Raspberries.   It disappearred in a flash and nobody, but nobody, ever realized it was gluten-free.

The first Trifle I ever tasted years ago was one consisting of chocolate cake soaked in Kahlua, layered with pudding, whipped cream and crunchy heath bar pieces.  I thought I must have died and gone to Heaven.

Instead of cake, this trifle starts with my favorite Gluten Free Brownies.  I like the texture that the Brownie chunks provide, contrary to the mushier mouth feel that you get with the crumbled chocolate cake which is typically used.

What you’ll need:

Prepared Brownies (I used about 3/4 of an 8 x 8 inch pan)

Instant Chocolate Pudding  (2 boxes or enough to make 4 cups)

4 cups Milk

1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream

2 Tbsp Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla

3 Snickers Bars

Caramel Sauce

What to do:

Cut Brownies into about 1 inch cubes, and set aside.

Prepare your Pudding.  

I used Trader Joe’s Instant Chocolate Pudding. 

Isn’t that a cool retro box?  Plus, it’s Gluten Free!  And super easy to make.

You need 4 cups of cold Milk.

Pour Milk into a large bowl.

Add the pudding mix.

Stir with a wire whisk.

At first, it won’t look very appetizing, but it will get better.  Just keep stirring and scraping the sides of the bowl with your whisk for two minutes.

Then set aside to thicken.

After five minutes, whisk briskly to smooth out the pudding.

If you aren’t assembling your Trifle right away, cover the bowl and place in refrigerator.

Now, place the unwrapped Snickers bars onto a cutting board.

Chop into small pieces.

Make your Whipped Cream.

Pour Cream into a medium bowl.

Add Sugar…

…and Vanilla.

Beat, using an electric mixer on high speed.  This is one of the rare jobs that I shun my big KitchenAid Stand Mixer for in favor of my small hand mixer. 

Beat until soft peaks form.  You don’t want to overmix, or you’ll end up with Butter instead of Whipped Cream, and believe me – that can happen really fast! 

Soft, fluffy, even pillowy would be words to describe the texture you are going for.  Perfection!

Now that you have everything prepared: Brownies, Pudding, Snickers and Whipped Cream – it’s time to assemble.

But wait! 

I forgot the Caramel Sauce! 

Depending on the sauce you are using, you might need to warm it up a bit, so it’s a pourable consistency.  But you aren’t going to want it more than slightly warm when you assemble the dessert.

Off we go!

Start by crumbling the Brownie pieces into the bottom of a Trifle Bowl.

Drizzle with a few (or more!) spoonfuls of the Caramel Sauce.

Then, top with about half of the Pudding.

Spread the pudding evenly right out to the edges. 

See the layering effect we’re going for here?

Now, top with half the Whipped Cream.

Then, half the Snickers.

Wash, rinse, and repeat.

Okay….hold the washing and rinsing part (we’ll save that for the dishes when we are all done), just do the repeat part. 

Again, Brownies and Caramel Sauce,

Pudding and Whipped Cream.

Then, the remaining Snickers to finish it off!

This really is so easy and everything can be made ahead and assembled just a few hours before you are serving the dessert.  You will want to let it chill for a couple hours before serving, though.

Now you know what to do with all that leftover Halloween Candy, right?  :-)

October 24, 2010

Gluten Free Banana Nut Bread (Lower Fat Version)

Filed under: Breads,Desserts — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 9:14 am

For a quick bread, this is pretty low fat.  The original recipe comes from a King Arthur Flour Cook Book that’s been in my pantry for years.  I’ve used low fat Buttermilk in place of full fat Sour Cream which insures the bread remains moist despite only 1/3 cup oil in the batter. 

I was going to make Pumpkin Bread again, but these bananas were calling out to me.

They look much worse that they are because we store our bananas in the refrigerator.  Some people say that’s a no-no, but I find that as soon as the bananas reach the perfect ripeness – which in and of itself a contentious matter at my house (just a touch of green left according to me but spotted with brown according to my husband) – placing them in the refrigerator will cause them to stop ripening, so you can enjoy the perfect texture and ripeness you like for at least a few days.  Oh, they won’t look very good, since the outside will begin to brown despite refrigeration, but the interior will still be perfect days later.  Try it.

Unlike with most of my baking, I decided to include the walnuts my children detest since I just can’t fathom Banana Bread any other way!  Spawn #1 still ate it, but he picked the nuts out of his slice.  Crazy Boy!

 What you’ll need:

2 Large Eggs

1 cup Sugar

1/3 cup Canola Oil

1 cup mashed (very ripe) Bananas

2 tsp Vanilla

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Solda

1 tsp Xanthan Gum

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

2 2/3 cups Gluten Free Flour Mix (I used Brown Rice Flour Mix – see below*)

1 cup Buttermilk (or Yogurt or Sour Cream)

1 cup chopped Nuts

(*Brown Rice Flour Mix: 2 parts Brown Rice Flour, 2/3 part Potato Starch, 1/3 part Tapioca Starch)

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Oil a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and line with Parchment Paper.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together well.

In bowl of mixer, beat together Eggs, Sugar and Oil. 

Blend in mashed Bananas and Vanilla.

Add flour mixture and mix until combined.

Add Buttermilk and mix again,  just until combined.

Stir in nuts.

Spread in prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

Bread is done when a toothpick inserted in center of the bread comes out clean.

Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Slice and serve spread with butter or whipped cream cheese! 

Sure, to you that may seem to defeat the purpose of the lowfat bread but in my view, making a lower fat version of anything is the perfect excuse to compensate with the toppings!  For example: At Starbucks, I always order a Venti Decaf Nonfat Cafe Mocha topped with Whipped Cream!  Come to think of it, that would be a very tasty accompaniment to a slice of this bread!

Oh..and while your enjoying that little slice of Banana Nut Heaven, would you mind chiming in and telling me…who’s right about the Bananas?  Me? Or my husband?  When do YOU think they are the perfect ripeness?

October 13, 2010

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Filed under: Breads,Desserts — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 7:14 pm

I was wrong.

When I’d posted the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe a few days ago, I’d said:

“I did alter the spices in the recipe, since it calls for not just Cinnamon and Nutmeg (which are also used to flavor my traditional Pumpkin Bread) but also Ginger, Cloves and Molasses.”

But my traditional Pumpkin Bread recipe does NOT have Cinnamon in it!  I had remembered it wrong, and when I set out to convert that original Pumpkin Bread recipe to gluten-free today, I realized my error. 

Will you ever forgive me?

Instead of Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Molasses, this bread is flavored with Nutmeg and Vanilla only.  It’s a quite a bit different flavor (the gingerbread-iness isn’t there) and now that I have sucessfully converted this recipe, dare I say it’s even better tasting than the muffins!  In fact, after conversion, there is no discernable difference between this bread and the traditional gluten-filled recipe that my younger son often begged for.  I just love when that happens!

He wouldn’t even let me finish photographing this bread before he nabbed a second slice!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1/2 cup Canola Oil

1 1/3 cup Sugar

2 large Eggs

1 cup Pumpkin (I used canned Libby’s again)

1/3 cup Water

1 2/3 cups Brown Rice Flour Mix* (you can use All-Purpose Flour if you are a gluten-eater)

3/4 tsp Xanthan Gum (only required for Gluten Free version)

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Soda

3/4 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

3/4 tsp Vanilla

1 cup Chocolate Chips

1/2 cup Walnuts or Pecans (if desired)

(*Brown Rice Flour Mix: 2 parts Brown Rice Flour, 2/3 part Potato Starch, 1/3 part Tapioca Starch)

What to do:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, and line bottom with parchment.

Combine Flour Mix, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt and Nutmeg in large bowl.

Whisk to combine, then set aside.

Place Oil and Sugar into large bowl of mixer.

Mix together until creamy, then scrape down sides of bowl , then beat in Eggs, Pumpkin, Water and Vanilla.

Add the flour mixture.

Mix until combined, then add Chocolate Chips (and Nuts, if desired).

Pour batter into pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until tootpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.

Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Let cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap and leave on counter overnight.  

It’s going to be difficult to wait, but this will be much tastier and much easier to slice the following day. 

Get up early, slice and serve for breakfast with your morning coffee.  This bread is ridiculously moist, so you won’t need any butter or other adornments.  Enjoy!

October 12, 2010

Homemade Chunky Cinnamon Applesauce

Filed under: Desserts,Fruit,Recipes,Vegan,Vegetarian — Tags: , , , — admin @ 11:44 am

Warning: After tasting this, you will never buy the jarred stuff again!

Thank goodness, it’s easy enough to make your own!  Since it’s Apple Season, it’s inexpensive to make as well!

You might even be able to get some damaged apples for a song this time of year and since you’ll be peeling them, who cares about any bruises or blemishes on the skin? 

I used pretty apples this time, though.

It is fairly important to use a variety of apples for this recipe.  Since you are cooking them, and you want this to be chunky, some of the apples will turn to mush and some will retain their texture and shape.  Make sure to have at least 1 or 2 Granny Smith or any other apple variety you might use in a pie.

You’ll need:

9-10 Apples

Sugar (to taste – I use about 1/4 – 1/3 cup)

Cinnamon (to taste – I use about 2 Tablespoons)

2 – 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice

1/3 cup Water

What to do:

Wash apples.

Peel, core and slice apples. 

Do you have one of these gadgets? 

If not, I would highly recommend getting one.  They aren’t expensive – I bought mine for less than $8 at Meijer in a half-off sale a few years ago – and they do the job in a jiffy and entice helpers to come into your kitchen to share the work with you!

Here is my Sous Chef at work.

The  slicer cuts the peel into one long – and fun – continuous strand, perfect for slurping.

So, once your coring-peeling-slicing is done by the super-gadget, your apples will look like this.

 

The leftovers will look like this.

This is going to make some chickens I know very, very happy!

Now, cut the apples into pieces.  Just quarter each apple.

And viola!  They’re not too big.  They’re not too small.   They’re just right!

Place all apples into a large saucepan, and add lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and water.

Toss together, then cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Cook until apples reach the texture you desire.

You can serve this warm – it’s AWESOME over Vanilla Ice Cream – or let cool before eating. 

How about using this to top your favorite Pancakes or Waffles for breakfast?  Mmmmmm.

This will keep in the refrigerator for several days – IF it lasts that long!

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