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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Breaded Chicken Tenders

Breaded Chicken Tenders
(gluten free, dairy free, grain free)

2 Cups almond flour (I like using Trader Joe's almond flour for this recipe, it's a little more coarse than Bob's Red Mill, my family prefes the coarser texture for this recipe)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1 1/2 lb chicken tenders or chicken breasts sliced like tenders

*preheat oven to 475 F
*line baking sheet with parchment paper
*place wire rack over parchment & spray with oil
*combine first 6 ingredients in a zipper bag
*take a piece of chicken, dry it thoroughly, then dip in egg, then place in zipper bag & coat well
*transfer chicken piece to the wire rack
*repeat with all the other chicken pieces
*bake 20 minutes
*really good served with ranch or dipping sauce of your choice

Monday, December 23, 2013

Gluten Free (Dairy Free) Snickerdoodle Cake (with Cinammon Buttercream Icing)

I normally make everything from scratch.  But I saw this recipe & really wanted to give it a try.   My hubby loves snickerdoodles & our son LOVES cinnamon.  Like always, I actually made a lot of changes from the original recipe that I stumbled upon.  But I did still use a boxed cake mix like it calls for.

I am actually planning to workout a way of making my own "cake mix" from scratch.  That must be an oxymoron or something like that, but it's how I like to do things.

**If you want this to be dairy free also you can sub vegetable shortening for the butter in the filling & oil for the melted butter**

Anyways, on with this recipe: GF Snickerdoodle Cake

Crunchy Filling:
3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 Tablespoons butter

1 15 oz. gluten free yellow cake mix
1/4 Cup vanilla instant pudding mix (that's something else I need to learn how to make from scratch!)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 Cup milk (I used almond milk)
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) melted butter
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

*preheat oven to 350 F
*oil two 8 or 9 " cake pans & line with parchment paper
*prepare the crunchy filling (just combine the ingredients until butter is incorporated) & place evenly into one of the cake pans & set aside
*put cake mix, pudding mix, & cinnamon in the bowl of a stand mixer
*mix to combine, then add milk, butter, eggs, & vanilla
*mix on low speed until just incorporated, then stop & scrape down
*mix on medium speed for 90 seconds
*divide between the 2 pans, place pans in preheated oven
*bake 18-22 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean
*when done, place pans on wire rack for 5 minutes
*after 5 minutes run a knife around the edge of pan & then invert cakes onto the wire racks to cool
*cool completely before assembling & icing/decorating
*when assembling, place the crunchy filling so it's in the middle of the cake, then fill & frost the cake as desired (I just used a standard buttercream recipe, but subbed my home made cinnamon extract in place of the vanilla extract called for in the recipe)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

GF Honey Almond Sourdough Bread

This recipe originally comes from "The Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread" by Bette Hagman.  I have, however, made some changes to it.  It's a good reference point, to begin exploring the world of sourdough.  And from this you can adapt other recipes as you desire.


Dry Ingredients:
2 Cups 4 Flour Bean Mix**
1 1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon egg replacer
3 Tablespoons almond meal
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

Wet Ingredients:
1 egg + 1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 Cup sourdough starter
3 Tablespoons oil (I use sunflower oil)
3 Tablespoons honey
1 Cup warm water (more or less)

*preheat oven to 375 F, oil bread pan
*combine dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer
*in another bowl combine egg, vinegar, sourdough starter, oil, & honey
*warm water to 110 F
*to the bowl of the mixer add egg mixture & mix in
*add water, a little at a time, until dough has proper consistency (just a tad thicker than cake batter)
*mix all in & scrape down bowl
*mix on high speed 4 minutes
*scrape into bread pan, smoothing out the top
*cover lightly & let rise (30-60 minutes or so--just up to the top of the pan)
*bake 10 minutes
*remove from oven & cover with aluminum foil & bake another 40-50 minutes

2/3 part garbanzo & fava bean flour (2 cups)
1/3 part sorghum flour (1 cup)
1 part cornstarch (3 cups)
1 part tapioca starch (3 cups)

Sourdough Starter

I've been baking for a really long time--close to 30 years I guess, since I started as a teen.  When I used to bake with gluten I always had a dream of learning how to do sourdough breads, etc.  I never actually got around to it.  But now, as a gluten free baker, I am delving into the world of sourdough.   I am very excited about this.  The older your starter is the more flavor your bread will have.  I did already make a loaf of sourdough bread & it didn't have a lot of sourdough flavor, but I will keep my starter going & aging. 

Having a starter in the house feels a little like having a pet (we already have a dog & a bunch of fish!!).  It's a living thing, you have to care for it & feed it.  You 'should' keep it at room temperature as much as you can.  But if you aren't using it or are going on vacation you can refrigerate or even freeze it.  And you should feed it each time you use it or at least once a week to keep it alive & thriving.

I found this sourdough starter recipe in "The Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread" by Bette Hagman. 

So your first step is to get the starter started.....


2 1/4 teaspoons (or 1 packet) dry yeast granules
1 Cup lukewarm potato water (left-over water after boiling potatoes)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 Cups white rice flour

*in a 1 quart glass container (never metal or plastic--I use a mason jar) dissolve the yeast in the water
*add the sugar & rice flour & mix in
*cover & let sit at room temperature until fermented (1-3 days), stirring every few hours at first
*it will bubble up & ferment & then die down with a skim of liquid on top
*be sure to stir well before using--the consistency should be like pancake batter
*replenish by feeding with 1/2 Cup lukewarm water & 3/4 Cup white rice flour each time you bake or once a week if you haven't baked in that time
*if your container becomes too full, discard all but about 3/4 Cup of the starter & add the 1/2 Cup lukewarm water & 3/4 Cup white rice flour to what is left.

Gluten Free Gravy

I have always bought the organic turkey gravy at the health food store.  I cannot recall the brand at the moment, but it's organic & gluten free.  But I've never been thrilled with it I must say.  It's not as thick & creamy as I would like & it has an after taste that I don't like much.  So I decided to experiment & learn how to make my own.  And I must say I was beyond thrilled with the results.

I forgot to take a pic BEFORE we devoured it!!  Here's what little was left!
1/4 Cup butter (or if you want dairy free you could try a butter alternative)
1/4 Cup sweet rice flour
1-2 Cups chicken stock (or juices from a roasted chicken or turkey if you have it)
salt & pepper & desired seasonings to taste
*melt the butter
*slowly whisk in the flour, a little at a time
*once all the flour has been added, let it cook 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly--the color should change during this time, but be careful to not let it scorch
*remove from heat for a couple of minutes
*put it back on low-medium heat & slowly, in very small amounts, drizzle in the chicken stock
*whisk vigorously & constantly until all the liquid has been absorbed (this may take up to 10 minutes--be patient, adding liquid until you've reached the desired consistency/thickness
*season with salt, pepper, & any other seasonings you desire
*remove from heat & serve immediately

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gluten Free Double Chocolate Muffins

The texture of these is a little spongy to me.  I will probably revamp the recipe at some point, & edit this post here when I do so, to improve the texture.  But they do satisfy a chocolate craving just fine despite the texture. 
Gluten Free Double Chocolate Muffins
1/2 Cup butter (or butter alternative if you want dairy free)
1 Cup sugar (I use evaporated cane juice)
4 eggs
2/3 Cup cocoa powder
1/2 Cup potato starch (NOT potato flour)
1/2 Cup tapioca starch
1/3 Cup white rice flour
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
1/2 Cup oil (I use sunflower oil)
2/3 Cup milk (I use almond milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 Cup chocolate chips (I used semisweet)
*preheat oven to 350 & line or grease muffin tins
*cream butter until fluffy
*add sugar & beat until creamy
*add eggs, one at a time, incorporating fully before adding the next
*combine dry ingredients in separate bowl & add 1/3 of this to the butter mixture
*add oil & blend in
*add 1/2 of the dry ingredients & blend in
*add 1/2 of the milk & blend in
*add the rest of the flour & blend in
*add the rest of the milk & blend in
*add the vanilla & blend in
*gently fold in the chocolate chips
*fill the muffin tins with batter & bake 15-20 minutes

Friday, October 25, 2013

GF (DF) 'cheese' crackers

These are super yummy!  Let me start by saying I've never made any type of cracker before.  I've always been told that making crackers is easy, but I've always hesitated, unsure of how to do it.  I adapted this recipe from one that was designed to use actual dairy cheese.  Since my son & hubby cannot tolerate dairy I thought his would be a great treat for them & I was correct.  I am not dairy free myself, but I eat very little dairy.  So these are great for me also.  They taste just like cheezits!

GF DF 'Cheese' Crackers

2 Tablespoons butter or butter-alternative
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
2 Cups shredded cheese alternative (I used Daiya cheddar style shreds)
3/4 Cup white rice flour
1/4 Cup potato starch (NOT potato flour)
1 teaspoon xantham gum (or guar gum or ground pysillium seed husk or other gluten alternative)

*preheat oven to 400 F
*in bowl of stand mixer beat butter-alternative until creamy
*add egg, salt, pepper, & beat until well blended
*beat in the cheese, in 4 batches
*beat in the flour, starch, & xantham gum until well blended
*remove from blender & add very small amounts of water until it will form into a ball & hold together
*divide the dough in half
*place one half onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper & cover with parchment paper & roll out dough as thin & even as possible--then remove top sheet of parchment paper
*cut into desired sized squares (I used a pizza cutter to do this)
*sprinkle with sea salt if desired
*bake 15-30 minutes, until crisp & deep golden, keep a close eye on them, don't let them burn (if the dough is not rolled out evenly the thinner portions of dough will burn before the thicker portions are crisp)
*repeat with the other half of the dough

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My favorite all purpose gluten free bread

A lot of gluten free breads are too light & white & don't seem substantial or hearty to me, which is what I like in a bread.  It took me a while to come up with this & I am quite pleased with it.  Gluten free flours cannot simply be replaced for wheat flour, you need a blend of several flours & starches & xantham gum to get the right texture.  Some people buy blends already blended for them, but I prefer to make my own.  I always have 2 blends on hand: one for pastries (cakes, cookies, pie crust, etc) & one for breads.  I will include how to make the blend needed for this recipe at the end of the recipe.  If you have a favorite bread flour blend you can certainly use that in this recipe as well.

*2 large eggs (room temperature is best)
*3 Tablespoons oil (I use sunflower oil)
*1 3/4 Cups "bread flour mix"
*1/4 Cup teff flour
*1 1/2 teaspoons xantham gum
*1/2 teaspoon sea salt
*2 Tablespoons sugar
*1 Tablespoon yeast (active dry, not quick rise)
*2/3 Cup PLUS 1 Tablespoon water (or milk or non-dairy milk)--heated to 110F
*preheat oven to 375F (I use a pyrex loaf pan, if you use a dark pan I believe it's the same temp, but if you use a bright & shiny pan I believe you need to increase to 400F)
*beat eggs & oil together
*mix dry ingredients together in stand mixer (I sift them all as I put them into the bowl of the mixer)
*heat water to 110F (it doesn't take long, so keep a close eye on it)
*add both liquids to dry ingredients
*mix until just blended, then scrape down the bowl
*beat on high for 3 minutes
*lightly grease or spray loaf pan
*place dough in pan & smooth out the top
*place in warm area to rise, cover loosely with a towel or paper towel & let rise 20-40 minutes
*bake for 10 minutes, then cover with aluminum foil & bake an additional 45 minutes
*bread is done when internal temp reaches 205F
Bread Flour Mix
1/3 part millet flour--------2/3 Cup
1/6 part sorghum flour----1/3 Cup
1/6 part cornstarch---------1/3 Cup
1/6 part potato starch------1/3 Cup
1/6 part tapioca starch-----1/3 Cup
This will give you 2 Cups of the mix, enough to make this recipe.......since I use this mix so often I make it in very large batches--4 Cups of millet flour & 2 Cups of all the others, you can make it in any amount you want or need, simply put twice as much millet flour as all the others.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Gluten Free Peach Pie

This is fabulous, delicious, indulgent, amazing, you name it, it's it.  And I seriously don't think you would ever guess that it's gluten free.  You can definitely serve this to gluten eating friends & they will love it.

Gluten Free Peach Pie
 1 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons gluten free pastry flour mix (I use a mix that I make myself & it's 2 parts brown rice flour, 2/3 part potato STARCH, & 1/3 part tapioca starch)
2 Tablespoons sweet rice flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 Tablespoons cold butter, cut up
1 large egg
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Crumb Topping: (Alternatively you can double the crust recipe & top with a traditional crust)
 3/4 Cup gluten free pastry flour mix (I used the same as I mentioned above)
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
1/3 Cup cold butter, cut up
 6 large fresh peaches
3/4 Cup brown sugar
1/3 Cup gluten free pastry flour mix (I used the same as I mentioned above)
1 Tablespoon corn starch
3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 Cup butter
Prepare Crust:
*Spray pie pan with oil (I use sunflower oil) & set aside
*Mix dry ingredients in bowl of electric mixer (or food processor)
*Add butter & mix until well mixed in & the mixture resembles corn meal
*Add egg & juice & mix until the dough comes together
*I like to roll it out between 2 pieces of wax paper, but you can roll it however you normally roll pie crust
*Place in pie pan
**At this point I like to stick in the freezer--a big key in getting a flakey crust is that the crust is VERY cold when it enters the preheated oven.  Then I prepare the topping while it's getting cold.  Then I set the topping aside (in the fridge) & work on the filling.  I do partially bake the crust for 10 minutes at 375F prior to filling & topping it**
Prepare Topping:
*Combine dry ingredients & cut in the butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal.  Set aside (in refrigerator preferably).
Prepare Filling:
*Peel & slice peaches & set aside
*Combine sugar, corn syrup, juice, & butter in saucepan
*Whisk or stir in flour & corn starch gradually--be cautious that it doesn't clump
*Cook over low, stirring until sugar is dissolved
*Cool slightly (if it cools too much by the time you are ready to assemble your pie just put it back on the stove until it thins out enough to pour)
Assemble Pie:
*Lay peaches in the pre-partially-baked crust
*Pour the sauce evenly over the peaches
*Spread the topping evenly over the top
*Cover the whole pie with aluminum foil
*Bake at 400F for 40 minutes
*Remove foil & bake at 375F for an additional 20 minutes
*Keep an eye on the crust edge, if it starts getting too brown cover the edges with foil

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pressure Cooker Chicken Stew

I've been on a pressure cooker kick lately.  I've had a Fagor stove top pressure cooker for several years now (gifted to us by my mom one Christmas) & I have always liked it, but felt unsure of how to use it most of the time.  I used to have one standard recipe that I made in it, but I have been branching out lately & loving the results.

I will say the pressure cooker is AMAZING for making risottos!  I can't possibly make a traditional risotto with a 4 year old in the house, but now I can in the pressure cooker & it's fabulous!!  Note to self: post pressure cooker risotto recipes in the future!

It's also really amazing for making shredded chicken.  Just cook chicken breasts a little longer than usual & then start pushing down on them with a spatula & they just fall apart into shreds!

When I was a kid on camping trips we would eat the canned Dinty Moore Beef Stew.  I don't even know if they still make it, but I sure did love it.  And anytime I eat stew or pot roast I am comparing it to my memory of the canned variety of my camping childhood days. 

In more recent years I was eating a lot of Trader Joe's canned chicken stew.  For some reason I stopped buying it (I think we just got tired of it) & then when I went to buy some once again they no longer carried it.  :(  (And seeing as I'm now gluten free I would bet that Trader Joe's chicken stew is NOT gluten free, so I wouldn't be able to buy it now anyways)

I've done a lot of googling for chicken stew recipes & all I've found are really difficult & complicated recipes, most of which require using a whole chicken.  Not really what I was looking/hoping for.

So once I got started on my pressure cooker kick & started feeling more comfortable with using it I started doing some experimenting & making up recipes with it.  One night I decided to try my hand at chicken stew & couldn't believe how good it turned out! 

This was so casual & informal that it's almost hard to write an actual recipe for it.  I cut up a couple of potatoes into cubes & placed them in the bottom of the pressure cooker (I do suggest a light spray of oil in the bottom just to make sure they don't stick).  Then I cut up a few carrots & layered those on top of the potatoes.  Then I cubed a chicken breast (or 2 depending on how many you're planning to feed) & layered that on top of the veggies.  Now you just need a sauce/gravy to pour over it all.  The first time I made this I used Imagine brand turkey gravy (it's gluten free!).  But the next time I made it I made my condensed soup recipe, the cream of onion version (adding dried minced onion & onion powder to the base) & my hubby said he liked it even better than the turkey gravy version.  I thought they were both pretty great. 

So you put all of that into your pressure cooker & you seal it up & bring up to pressure.  Then I lower the heat slightly (high enough to maintain pressure though) & cook 8-10 minutes.  It's that simple.  You could add on a side of biscuits or corn bread & have a complete meal.  This is definitely better in colder weather, but I really enjoy it as long as it's not extremely warm.