Really Quick & Easy!

 

Gluten Free Chicken with Asparagus over Linguine

Nothing says Spring like fresh Asparagus, and this recipe is so quick & easy, you’ll really find yourself making it on a week-night or when you’re pressed for time.
I used 3 boneless Chicken Breasts, but if you need more, just double up on the ingredients, or triple, etc.
The list of needed ingredients is even short, with nothing complicated or exotic. I’ve included a photo of the recipe in the pan while cooking, so you can get a better sense of how to proceed. So, go for it!!

Ingredients:

2 tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I use “Light”

1 tbl Butter

3 Boneless Chicken Breasts, cut into strips as seen in the first photo.

Bunch of fresh Asparagus, I used probably 20 stalks. Break off the bottom third and discard. After washing, use a potato peeler to remove the toughest “gills’. Now cut into 2 inch pieces. You’ll appreciate how tender they become without those lower gills.

¾ cup Gluten Free Chicken Broth. (If doubling recipe, of course, increase as you will with everything else.)

Dash of Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper

Dash of Rosemary

Few Sprigs Fresh Parsley

Gluten Free Linguine. Use as much as you’ll need. To serve two, I used 1/3 pkg of Gluten Free Linguine. If you’re serving a big eater, make the whole pkg.!!

Grated Italian Cheese to garnish at serving time. Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano, your preference.

Directions:

Really Easy: You need 2 things: 1 pot for pasta and 1 pan for chicken .

Put up a saucepan of salted water for the Linguine.

Cut the breasts into strips.
Heat the Oil and Butter in a skillet.
Saute the Chicken on both sides, but don’t allow to burn. It will cook more with the broth later.
After both sides are sautéed for about 2 minutes on each side, remove to a plate.
In the same pan, leave the juices, and saute the Asparagus for approx. 3 minutes, just to give a little flavor from the meat.
Add the Broth, Salt & Pepper, and Rosemary.
Return the chicken to the pan.
Stir to combine well and coat everything.
Cover and simmer on LOW for about 10 minutes.

While this is simmering cook the linguine until “al dente”.
Drain when done and add to the pan of Chicken & Asparagus. Sprinkle the diced Parsley on top. Combine with the liquid and turn all together.

Serve immediately. Grated cheese on top, if you prefer. My finished photo doesn’t have the cheese yet, but it was coming at the table when I served it!! Yum!
Fast, Easy, Delicious and Nourishing!

 

Gluten Free Macaroons!

April 6th, 2014 | Posted by Annette in Cookies - (0 Comments)

So easy, you’ll surprise yourself!!

G-F COCONUT MACAROONS

YEAH! I CAN HAVE COCONUT MACAROONS AGAIN! I’ve missed you!!

My macaroon has a cookie center; it’s not just all coconut. It’s a lovely cookie and makes a great dessert for guests…. if you don’t gobble them up before that!

Ingredients

1 Stick Sweet Butter
1 Egg Yolk
2 Egg Whites
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Teas. G-F Vanilla Extract
G-F Flour Blend: 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Blend
1/4 cup Garbanzo Bean Flour,
1/4 cup Tapioca Flour
1/4 Teas. Xanthan Gum
1/4 Teas. Salt
8 ounce bag Sweetened Coconut, Shredded.

In your mixing bowl, Cream the softened butter and sugar until well blended.
Add the yolk, vanilla. Mix in.
Add the different flours and Xanthan Gum and Salt.

Batter will look dry, like damp sand, but don’t worry. It will stick together in your hand.
Shape into balls, ( about 1 to 1 ½ in in diameter). And then make a small peak on the top. Whisk the 2 egg whites in a medium bowl until slightly frothy. Don’t whisk very long. We don’t want it beaten so long that we have meringue. Just mix until slight bubbles appear.

Dip the shaped cookies in the egg whites and coat all sides.
Now, roll in sweetened coconut until covered all over.

As you see, I space them about 1 inch apart. Place on a silpat sheet or use parchment paper. Bake 20 minutes, at 300 degrees until tops/coconut bits are just gold tinged!
Let cool before storing in airtight container.
May be dusted with confectioner’s sugar, if you prefer.

 

Tastes so good, nobody will know it was a No-Bake Recipe!

With Spring’s Holidays coming up soon, I decided to resurrect a recipe that will certainly help those who are stressing about entertaining, with little time for baking. It’s a “NO-BAKE” Cheesecake that’s so luscious you’ll be so glad you prepared it.  So…what do you have to lose? Company coming, or just celebrating the holiday with family?  Make this, even a day ahead, and you’ll Wow them.

Cheesecake with Strawberry Syrup

Well, it’s Spring here in New Jersey, and a busy time at that! So, here’s a really light and delicious No-Bake Cheesecake you’re sure to love…not lighting an oven when you’re pressed for time is more than fine with me. It tastes so light and fluffy, you want more than 1 slice.

Ingredients:

Base:
1 cup Gluten-free Graham- like Cookies Crumbs (Schar brand is used here)
Or use a Shortbread type of your choice.
3 tbsp Sweet Butter-softened
Cheesecake:

10 oz. Cream Cheese room temperature, separate into 3 or 4 chunks
1 tsp. unflavored Gelatin
1 cup Heavy Cream-beaten or whipped till peaks are formed
2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
1 stick Sweet ( unsalted) Butter, cut into several pieces and at room temp
¼ cup Sour Cream
¼ cup Orange Juice
2 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
Pinch of sea salt
Sauce:

1 pint Fresh Strawberries, cleaned and removed of green stems and halved
1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
¼ cup Water ( or a drop more if needed)

First, Prepare the sauce, and this can be done a day ahead if you wish.
Just take a saucepan large enough to accommodate the entire pint of strawberries!
Place the water in the pan with sugar. Heat on medium just to dissolve the sugar. Throw in ( not really throw!) the strawberries and keep heating and stirring until you have shrunk them. Then on the lowest heat, simmer for a while until you’ve achieved the consistency you like and it’s “syrup-y”.
Certainly, add a drop more water if you feel it’s not liquidy enough. The last step, simmering, should take about 5 minutes. But stand near it, not to burn the syrup. Refrigerate when cooled, with a lid.

Prepare the pan:

Using an 8 x 8x 2in cake pan.
Grease the bottom and sides, and then line with a long sheet of plastic wrap. Leaving enough to hang over sides by at least 4 inches from the top. This is your “handle” when it’s time to lift cake out of pan. Don’t grease the inside of the plastic wrap…only grease the empty pan.

To prepare the cookie base:
I took a mini-food processor, the type you can use to grind nuts, and put the cookies, broken in half, in it and just pulsed until I had really made crumbs.
Place in a bowl and add the softened or melted butter. Combine very well until it’s all moistened.

Take that prepared cake pan, and press the moist cookie crumbs into the bottom and spread evenly on bottom. Use clean hands, that’s always the best way. Set aside till filling is ready.

Cheesecake:

Take a small pot and place 2 Tbsp. water in it and add the gelatin. Let stand for about 5-10 minutes until soft.

Using electric beater, whip the heavy cream until peaks are formed. Place in fridge to remain cold.

In another large bowl, beat the sugar, butter and pinch of salt until creamed and fluffy, approx. 4-5 minutes. Add cream cheese while beaters are going, in sections, and keep incorporating as you add, Then add the orange juice, lime juice and sour cream.

Now, get that pot with the gelatin, and gently heat over low flame just until dissolved, stirring as it does this.
Fold this well into the cream cheese mixture, and then fold in the whipped heavy cream. Just fold in, manually, not to deflate. Don’t use beaters for this. Too much beating will deflate the whipped nature.

Pour over the crust and smooth with a straight sided spatula to create a flat top surface.. Chill well, covered with aluminum foil, but stretch it flat & taut over the top of pan, so as not to touch the surface of the cheese cake.
Must chill cake for several hours.
You can make this the day ahead, (if you’re entertaining, that’s a nice thing!)

When ready to serve, use that plastic wrap to SLOWLY and gently lift out of the pan, onto a plate. Cut into squares, as seen in photo.
On serving, pour that delicious strawberry syrup over the top. Enjoy the No-Bake cheesecake!

*Note: The original recipe which was not gluten-free came from bon appetit magazine. Their crust was transitioned for our needs.

 

 

Same great tastes, yet not fried!

 

Gluten Free “Flat” Type Rice Ball

So, you’re trying to save some calories, and trying to eat fewer fried foods…well, here’s an idea that may appeal to those who have always loved the old Italian favorite: the Rice Ball. Also known as “Arancini” to the Italians out there. Mine is prepared in a flattened appearance, with the same great tastes and yet, not fried. So, did I peak your interest? Then, read on!!

I’m including 4 more photos, (you know I like to help you along the way. I figure I’d appreciate that, so maybe my readers will as well) and you’ll notice the steps as we go.

A traditional Rice Ball consists of the cooked rice, of course, formed into a ball with a center of either a chop meat-sauce-peas mixture or some rice balls offer just a cheesey center which is mozzarella. Then the balls are coated in flavored bread crumbs and fried. Tastes delish, but certainly higher in calories due to all of the breading and frying, but also tricky to form into a ball while juggling that center area. Ta-dah! Tastes great, easier to achieve! Flat Italian Rice Ball…Gluten Free of course.

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked White Rice. Do not use instant. Cook a long grain white rice.

½ cup Gluten Free Flavored Bread Crumbs

Sauce Directions:

Dash of Salt & Pepper ( to your taste)
1 14oz.can Crushed Tomatoes.
1 Tbl Basil. If you have fresh leaves, use 4 or 5 leaves, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves. Minced
2 tbl Minced Yellow Onion
4 tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil, separate into 2 parts: 2 tbl EVOO to prepare sauce & 2 tbl to saute meat later.

Meat Prep Ingredients:
½ lb Beef Chop Meat.
Dash of Oregano flakes, just a quick dash.
Salt & Pepper to taste for Meat
1 Garlic Clove, minced
2 tbl Minced Yellow Onion
1 teas. Parsley Flakes or finely minced fresh leaves
6 oz. Frozen Peas

Approx. 4 or 5 oz. Mozzarella for topping (If using pre-shredded in a bag, use ½ of bag )
Grated Reggiano or Romano Cheese. As much or as little as you prefer.

Let’s get cookin’ :

Directions:

Of course, we need to cook the rice first. Follow the instructins on the pkg and be sure to use a cooked white, long grain rice. We need the starchy-ness.
While it’s cooking, start the sauce.

In a medium saucepan, place 2 tbl oil and when hot, saute the garlic & onion until the onion is translucent. Don’t burn them. When at that point add the crushed tomatoes, basil and S & P. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Stir frequently so it doesn’t stick and burn. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes.

While the simmering phase is going on, take a skillet and add the rest of the oil. When it’s hot, add the garlic and onion and do as you did above. Don’t allow to burn. When translucent, add the loose chop meat ( beef used here), spices and saute until the meat is browned and cooked through. Add the frozen peas and about 2 ladles-full of the sauce. Stir well to combine and cover. Just simmer on low flame for 5 minutes to de-freeze the peas and cook them a bit.

When the meat combo is done, and the sauce is cooked, and the rice is all ready, we can prepare our dish.
Take a pan with at least 2 in. sides, such as a square pyrex, or corning, or even a square metal pan that is about 9-10 in long by about 6 in. wide, or a square 8 in or 10 in. pan. First, spray the bottom lightly with a Vegetable cooking spray, such as Pam. (Gluten Free of course)
Then dust the bottom with the ½ cup of G-Free Bread crumbs. This can be achieved by tiling the pan and spreading them all about.

Next, take ½ of the cooked rice and spread all about the bottom and go up the sides slightly. Use the back of a lg. spoon to compact it down. Press into place.

When the whole bottom is covered, now take the meat mixture and spoon it on top of the 1st layer, that rice. See the photo at this point:

Meat-Peas combo on top of first layer of rice.

Then take the second half of the cooked rice and spread on top of the meat/pea combo. Cover the entire layer and be sure to go up to the corners and edges.

Now, using a lg. spoon or ladle, poor some sauce over that top layer of rice. Not too much, we’re not soaking it . Just a bit.

Sauce on top of last layer of rice.

Lastly, sprinkle some grated cheese on the sauce and finally, spread that Mozarella all over the top.

Bake in an over at 375 until Mozzarella has melted and the edges are golden.

Cut into squares to serve, don’t just dig in to scoop some out. It should be served in a square portion, so the recipients get all layers intact. After all, the original rice ball provided all tastes in one serving. You bit into rice, then got to the center and on the bottom, you ate more rice!! Enjoy!

 

 

Gluten Free Asian Chicken & Rice- Noodle Soup
Asian Chicken & Rice- Noodle Soup! Want a different taste other than the every-day meal you usually serve? This is a quick prep,( believe it or not, looking at all that go into it!) and you’ll be adding something to your menu box for…ever. Asian Chicken and Rice- Noodle Soup.

Now, I didn’t say you’ll have everything on hand immediately….you’ll need to pick up the ingredients at your market, but once that’s done, the rest is easy. If you have leftover chicken breasts, there you go. (someone also suggested using the white meat from a cooked G-Free Rotisserie Chicken from your specialty market.)

I used a homemade chicken soup that had broth left over. But, you can always substitute a good, gluten free boxed broth.

Ingredients: for 4 hearty servings:

1 box ( 14 0z) Stir-Fry Rice Noodles. See photo of what I used.
4 -5 cups Chicken Broth, G-Free or your own.
2 Boneless Chicken Breasts, cooked, then cubed to 1 in. pieces.
1 shredded or grated Carrot. Peel, then grate.
4 or 5 Crimini Mushrooms, sliced.
8 to 10 Broccoli Florets, Washed broccoli well, then cut off stem portion.
1 bunch Fresh Spinach. Wash well, then cut off stems.
1 large Garlic Clove, slivered
2 Scallions, Sliced using white & light green parts. Not dark ends.
Quick dash of Ground Ginger.
1 tbl G-Free Soy Sauce. I recommend “Bragg’s Liquid Amino Soy”.
Salt & Pepper to taste
Directions:

These rice noodles are easy, but follow the directions on the box. Those were: Put the noodles in boiling water and set aside for 10 min. to get soft. Drain and then you’ll add to the broth in a few minutes.

Cut up the chicken. Set aside.

In a large soup pot, place the broth, shredded carrot, broccoli, garlic clove and mushrooms. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 3 minutes only. Time it.

Add the spinach, ginger, soy sauce, salt & pepper, cooked, cut chicken pieces, and rice noodles.
Allow to simmer for another 3-4 minutes. The rice noodles are soft, but this 4 minutes more will cook through.

Add the scallions. Remove from heat. Scallions will soften in the hot soup.

Plate up and serve it as more ingredients and rice noodles than broth. It’s a hearty, yet “less brothy” soup, as the photo suggests.

This is something to keep in mind whenever you have extra boneless chicken breasts, and that makes the prep even easier. Hope you like it!

Gluten Free Corned Beef Dinner

February 17th, 2014 | Posted by Annette in Main Dish - (0 Comments)

Gluten Free Corned Beef Dinner

Here we go: make this for the whole family, those who are G-F as well as everyone else: Gluten Free Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner!

Here in the USA, we typically see Corned Beef Brisket sold in supermarkets just around St. Patrick’s Day, but some specialty markets will carry it all year round. So, if you’re spotting it during May or September, grab it & you’re a lucky one; make this dinner and savor the flavors many times over and over. It’s easy to prepare, don’t be intimidated by the time element. It mostly does all the work while it’s simmering along. Let’s get you started.

Info: Serves 4 to 5
Prep time: 20 min.
Cook time: 3 hrs.

Ingredients:

2 to 2 ½ lbs Gluten Free Corned Beef Brisket ( here in Northeast USA, Boar’s Head brand and Freirich brand are both G-Free. Look at your labels carefully for those words!! )

2 Garlic Cloves. Peeled and smashed.

3 Carrots, Peeled and sliced into big chunks; about 2 in. long

1 large Yellow Onion, remove papers & sliced in quarters

5 Potatoes. Peeled of skin. I used 3 medium sized Yukon Golds and 2 medium sized Red Potatoes, just to have both flavors and tastes in there. But you can use one type.

1 Cabbage. Cut into quarters or fifths. Leave spine attached or it will fall apart while simmering.

2 Bay leaves

10 Peppercorns. Leave whole, don’t crush

Dash of Thyme

1 tbl Salt

Few Parsley Sprigs

Water , enough to to cover meat well.

Mustard. For serving at meal time as a garnish. A must for everyone I know!

Directions:

It’s easy, so please don’t be discouraged.
Remove meat from packaging and briefly rinse under water .

Take a large pot or Dutch oven and place meat inside. Add enough water to cover it well. Don’t skimp on the water, since it will be simmering for a long time. Cover it by approximately 2 inches.

Throw in ( well, not literally, ) the bay leaf, parsley, salt, peppercorns and thyme. Cover and bring to a boil. When you see it’s come to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 2 hrs. Occasionally, check to be sure it’s simmering on a light boil and after 1 hr, using 2 large spatulas or spider tool, gently turn over to reverse side. Be gentle. It’s getting very soft.

After 2 hrs, stick a fork or knife in the meat and it should be very tender and pierce right through. Using that spider tool or spatulas, remove to a large platter and cover meat with foil.

Add all of the vegetables to that pot and simmer for ½ hour. Veggies will be getting nice and soft, soaking up the flavors of that “broth”.

Re-position meat into the pot for another 15 minutes to reheat.

Remove meat to a carving board and slice to the thickness you prefer.
Serve on a large platter with the veggies along-side and provide your favorite type of mustard to accompany each bite. You can drizzle a little of the broth on top of the slices if you like. So good. Get ready for the compliments!!

 

 

 

Fill with any fruit you prefer…or even just ice cream!

 

Strawberry Filled, Choco-Sprinkled Cakes
A Semi-Homemade Recipe
We’ve all been there; too much to do, too little time! But, if it’s a special day and you don’t want to disappoint them by failing to surprise everyone with a luscious dessert–this is for you! Strawberry-Filled, Choco-Sprinkled Mini Cakes!

Here is a semi-homemade recipe ( as we often do, but you don’t need to admit it!) and even the most challenged baker can make this one.
I used a Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix, this delicious one is from “King Arthur “brand, and the pan I used is in this photo to help you. The finished mini-cake is turned upside-down to reveal the center hole which you can fill with any number of fillings.

I made a simple strawberry syrup which is also very easy.
I dipped the cooled cakes in chocolate frosting, poured on the chocolate sprinkles and then filled the entire opening and top with my strawberry syrup. That’s homemade. Don’t fret…easy as can be to do.

You don’t care for chocolate? Then ice it with white frosting or glaze and sprinkle coconut flakes on top.
Or how about making the apple filling with sautéed apples and some sugar?
Or raspberries, or blueberries, or peaches? The list is endless.

This pan was bought at a Michaels’ craft store with a 50% off coupon. (Here in NJ, the A.C.Moore stores do the same.) Whoppee! A great buy! Serves many needs. Take a look:

 

Ingredients:

Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix ( King Arthur used here.)
Items the box calls for, eggs, butter, milk, veg. oil. As directed.

Make the cake as box instructs. When removed from oven, let cool on a rack. We want the cakes cool before frosting & decorating.

Now make the syrup while the cake is baking.

Strawberry Syrup Ingredients:

1 cup water
2 cups Sliced, washed fresh Strawberries
4 teas. Granulated Sugar

Directions for this:

Wash, clean, hull the berries. Slice into any size small slices.
In a small saucepan, add the water, sugar and berries.
Cook on low heat until it’s syrup-y. No cover on pan. Do this for about anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often. You want to reduce the liquid by half. It will get thicker as it does. You want chunks of strawberry left, so don’e try to get a completely syrup-y end. Chunks are good. Put into a small bowl and chill in fridge.
Ingredients for Glaze:

1 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips
4 tbl Butter
2 tbl light corn syrup

Decorations: Chocolate Sprinkles. Sold in all supermarkets.

Directions for this part:

Place all ingredients for glaze in a bowl (except the sprinkles for the topping) , place in microwave for about 1 to 1 ½ minutes until melted.
Use a whisk to Achieve a smooth consistency.
Done. Glaze the top of the cooled cakes. Immediately sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles ( you may call them jimmies.)

After that, spoon the cooled strawberry syrup into the hole and all over the top.

 

Gluten Free Cheesecake Dream Squares

February 9th, 2014 | Posted by Annette in Desserts - (0 Comments)

What’s better than Chocolate and Cheesecake?

Cheesecake Dream Squares
 Gluten Free, Of Course!

Valentine’s Day is coming and even though it’s a workday, you can make a treat for your loved ones that’s as fancy as any restaurant’s dessert you might enjoy on Sat. or Sun.!

If you prepare it a day ahead, be sure it’s covered well and refrigerated when cooled. Whenever you make this, all year through, it needs to be chilled before serving, so allow time for both the prep and the chilling.

It’s a luscious cheese cake on top of a chocolate cookie bottom!  You hardly taste the coffee (mocha), so it’s an ingredient you may eliminate if you wish. You can dress it up even more by serving a strawberry or raspberry syrup on the side. So terrific as is, with chocolate syrup drizzled over as I did!

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups Gluten Free Flour Blend ( see note below)
1 cup Confectioner’s Sugar ( powdered sugar)
½ cup Cocoa Powder- unsweetened.
¼ teas. Baking Soda
¾ cup Butter or Margarine-Softened
2 Eggs-Room Temp.
1  8oz Pkg Cream Cheese- Room Temp.
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk- that’s a 14 oz. can
1 Tbls Hot, Strong Coffee. Not flavored, just reg. coffee (Optional. If you don’t care for mocha flavor, substitute 1/2 tbl Pure Vanilla Extract

Chocolate Syrup to drizzle on top. There are many types of prepared Choc. Syrups sold. My Supermarket sells individual cups of “dipping chocolate” for coating strawberries, etc. I used one, warmed for a few seconds in microwave to soften for drizzling.

Directions:

First, get your pan ready. Using a 12 x 8 x 2 pan, line it with parchment paper and allow enough so it comes up the sides with enough overlap to allow lifting out later on. Spray inside of paper with a baking spray, like Pam.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the cake bottom, into a large bowl, place the G-F Flour Blend, Powdered Sugar, Baking Soda, and Cocoa.  Mix well, so all dry ingredients are combined. Using a Pastry Blender tool, add the butter and keep incorporating until crumbs appear.

Place in bottom of pan and using the back of a spoon, press down to make a crust, as you might do with a pie crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

While that’s in the oven, make the cheesecake batter:  In another bowl, put the soft Cream Cheese, and beat with electric beater until fluffy.
Add the 14 oz. of Condensed Milk and beat again.
Add the Eggs  and Coffee ( or Vanilla Extract if not using coffee)
Beat until thoroughly combined.

When the bottom has baked for the 15 minutes, carefully remove from oven and pour Cheesecake Batter on top of hot Chocolate Crust.
Place in oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until set.

Cool on a wire rack. When cooled, remove by carefully lifting by parchment sides and place on a large plate. You can cover well when cooled ( never cover when warm or you’ll have steam forming and get a wet cheesecake!) Refrigerate always.

I suggest refrigerating as a whole, and when ready to serve, cut into squares and drizzle top with chocolate syrup. (Hint: When ready to slice, get a cup of hot water and dip your knife in it before each slice, for easier cutting and for less cheesecake crumbling.)

This was an old recipe from the early 1990’s that I have from a Better Homes & Garden Cookbook.  But it was not a gluten free recipe, so I’ve transitioned it for our needs.

If this is something you think your loved ones will enjoy, or if there’s a gathering about to happen, give it a try. Elegant yet easy. No one will know you didn’t slave away preparing it!

Note: Flour Blend Used:

2/3 cup Garbanzo Bean Flour
1/3 cup Tapioca Flour
¼ cup white Rice Flour
¼ cup Cornstarch

Here’s a closer look!

Gluten Free Mocha Chocolate Cake

February 8th, 2014 | Posted by Annette in Desserts - (0 Comments)

This recipe was posted earlier in the blog, but I’ve re-surfaced it for the Valentine’s Day celebration you may be planning! Enjoy!

 

Gluten Free Chocolate-Mocha Cake

When my son was a kid I always baked something special for Valentine’s Day. (We actually never needed a reason or holiday to bake, we have a serious sweet tooth!)  But on that day, it was in the shape of a heart, or I decorated a regular shaped cake with a heart on it.  Here’s a cake that can fill that requirement,  Gluten Free Mocha Chocolate Cake, or can be baked all year through in any shape you like.

This calls for coffee, but if you’ve never used that in a cake batter, with chocolate, it only serves to intensify the flavor. You really don’t taste coffee.
If the caffeine thought bothers you, you may use de-caf coffee. This is really chocolate-rich cake!

I used a glaze on top, but again, for your preferences, frost with anything you like. Sometimes, kids like a thick, creamy frosting, and that’s fine as well. Hope you like this and will use it all year round.

Ingredients for a one layer cake:  (Double up for a 2 layer or a large sheet cake)

½ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
½ cup Hot Water
½ cup Hot Brewed Coffee (De-Caf is ok too)

Flour Blend: ¾ cup White Rice Flour, ½ cup Tapioca Starch or Flour, ¼ cup Cornstarch or Potato Flour
1 teas. Baking Soda
½ teas. Baking Powder
½ teas Xanthan Gum
½ tes Salt

½ cup Sweet Butter ( or your substitute of choice)
1 ¼ cups Granulated Sugar
1 teas. Pure Vanilla Extract ( Imitation Vanilla is not G-F)
2 Lg Eggs

Glaze Ingredients:

1 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
2 tbsp Sweet Butter-room temp.
5 tbsp. Light Corn Syrup (The corn syrup makes the shiny effect)
Any drops of water needed to thin out if it’s too thick to pour.

Directions:  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

First make the coffee. We need it hot.
In a small bowl, put the hot coffee and cocoa. Stir well to dissolve well.
Add the hot water and stir again.  Set aside.

In a separate larger bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Combine with a spatula and then sift all.

In a third bowl, beat the softened butter and sugar to blend well enough to have a smooth consistency. Add the Vanilla and then add the eggs, one at a time. Beat well.

Add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar bowl a little at a time, beating after each addition.  After all of the dry ingredients have been added, pour in the cocoa-coffee liquids and beat until really smooth.

In a well greased and floured pan, pour the batter and smooth top with the spatula.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, watching carefully after ½ hr. All ovens vary, so keep an eye on it.
The toothpick test works here.( must come out dry to signal it’s done!)
Wait 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before frosting or glazing.

Glaze:
In a small saucepan, on low heat, place the chips, corn syrup and soft butter.
CONSTANTLY stirring with a wooden spoon, melt the chips and keep working until you see everything combined. It will be very silky and shiny.

IMMEDIATELY pour on top of cake. With spatula, spread to edges and watch it pour over the sides.  Before you pour, if you feel it looks too thick for pouring, add a drop or 2 of water and stir well to blend it in. I only had to add about 1 tbsp. of water to mine.
This is a rich, chocolatey glaze. If you love chocolate, this is the dessert for you! If it’s for your Valentine, add a kiss!!

 

Silky, Creamy, just Delicious!

 

Butternut Squash Fettucine Carbonara

Sometimes we “create” recipes from our imaginations and experiences, and other times we find one that interests us and tempts our senses, so we give it a try. Here’s something from “bon appetit’ magazine that was originally meant for those who can enjoy regular, wheat pastas. I decided to try it and used Gluten Free Fettucine noodle (Tinkyada brand), and it’s a knock-out! So, if you’re searching for a different pasta dish, here is Butternut Squash Fettucine Carbonara. Yum!

Ingredients to serve 4 portions:

2 slices ( totals about 3 oz.) Gluten Free Prosciutto. Boar’s Head is G-F
2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
One 2 lb. Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped into ½ in. pieces. Or buy a pkg already cleaned and cut. That saves the work if you’re pressed for time.
1 teas. Sage: minced into small pieces.
1 small yellow onion (about 1 ½ in in diameter) Sliced into small pieces too
2 garlic cloves, also minced.
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 cups G-Free Chicken Broth
12 oz. G-Free Fettucine or Spaghetti
¼ cup Grated Italian Cheese: Parmigiano Reggiano used here. Please don’t buy a jar of grated cheese sold in the pasta aisle. That’s no where near the taste of freshly grated. And you can find fresh in a container in the dairy section, recently grated by the mgt., for the same money.
A few slivers, shaved off a block of that cheese if possible. Optional, of course.
2 tbl coconut milk

Directions:

1. Slice the Prosciutto into ¼ in. pieces.

2. Heat the oil in a skillet and then saute the prosciutto bits until crisp. Use medium heat. Remove from skillet to a small dish, but save the pan.

3. Add squash, onion and garlic to that pan, ( it should have the juices from the prosciutto) Cook until onion is translucent. Maybe 6 minutes. Add S & P to taste.

4. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and simmer veggies until soft. Perhaps 15 minutes. Liquid should have reduced by about half. When fork tender and breaking apart when pricked, shut heat.

5. Set pan aside a few minutes to cool slightly. While it’s cooling, put up a pot of salted water for the pasta. Cook pasta when boiling.

6. Pour squash mixture into a blender or small food processor. ( I have a mini-Cuisniart processor and it worked fine here.) Keep that pan nearby.

7. Puree for a minute. Add the coconut milk and 1 teas grated cheese. Puree again. It should be creamy and silky.

8. Take that pan which you left aside but didn’t wash, and put the sauce in it. When the pasta is “al dente”, drain, but save about 1 cup of the liquid, and place strained pasta in the pan with the sauce. Place heat on low and using a wooden spoon, combine as you stir or toss. If it seems dry, ( mine did not) add a tbl of the reserved pasta water and stir in.

9. When plating, sprinkle the prosciutto bits and sage all over top. Then sprinkle cheese on as well.

10. Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! 

Note: Sauce can be saved in a sealed container in fridge for 2 days, but without the added prosciutto. Add that when you’re about to serve fettucine.

 

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