Last Saturday was neighborhood yard sale day in my ‘hood. We can’t resist a yard sale, never mind a whole neighborhood full of them. Not only were there a lot of big sales, but there were a bunch of stuff that people put to the curb with a simple for sale sign on it. That’s the way that we got a Webber Gas Grill for $25! The grill is superb. But even more superb is the fact that the people selling the grill came out to talk to us. Next thing you know, we’re talking locavore food, raw milk deliveries and stay-at-home momming. The mom gave me this book to read and I’m so glad, in fact, I can’t really leave it alone. Not only does it have great recipes, but in all the margins of the book it has bits and pieces of research pertinent to the topic of the page. I’m hooked, I’m sold, I’m ordering my own copy off of Amazon right now! So can you, you won’t be sorry:)
Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category
Lent is late this year. It’s still coming, but much later than I remember. Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Faschnacht Day or many other names world wide. And besides all those other names and goodies often associated with the day…the Tuesday before Lent is known simply as Pancake Day. The concept is simple. Pancakes contain sugar, fat and eggs, all rich items usually given up for the Lenten period. In the UK, Pancake Day even means holding pancake races that date back to folklore of 1445 when a housewife, forgetting the time, was making pancakes when the bells rang for church. Racing out of the house to make it to church on time, she forgot to put the frying pan down containing her currently cooking pancake! Races that involve flipping pancakes while running are still held today.
So, I’m just reminding you about my pancake recipe that I posted here on my blog about a million years ago (sometime last year). Get out your frying pan or griddle and your butters and syrups and get ready to indulge in Pancake Day. If you have any left, cook them, and throw them in a bag in the fridge or freezer for later use. Just mircowave for a few seconds and voila, pancakes. Enjoy!
A few weeks ago I wrote about trying a recipe from Michael Ruhlman’s blog for gluten-free Brioche. At that time, I hadn’t worked with the recipe yet-and I was a little unsure of what I thought of the possibility of the bread really working out.
Well, I’ve tried it, eaten it out of the oven, as toast and as french toast. It’s good. It’s worth making and eating! Here are some pic’s of in the oven and out I thought you would enjoy and would lend some confidence to your baking.
Note about pictures on blogs: So often, a picture attached to a recipe is not an actual picture of the product. How do I know? Sometimes I do it! Baking, Blogging and living life takes a lot of time. Sometimes I just don’t have a picture handy. And sometimes that’s ok. Sometimes GF looks just like the gluten-containing so it works. But I don’t think it works with bread. When I see a picture of gluten-free bread looking gorgeous and perfect…I start to wonder. Is that really a picture of gluten-free bread? Just so you know, all the breads posted on my site are actual pic’s of the actual breads that I’ve made. So if it looks gorgeous, it really was!
NO! Wrong answer! The ugliest bananas make the best banana cakes, breads, muffins etc! Here’s what you do. Take them, and I do this with the skin on, and I do this no matter how ugly they are, and throw them in a ziploc bag into the freezer. Then when you need them for a recipe, take them out and put them in a bowl and gently microwave them until they are thawed. You can also thaw them in a bowl in the fridge. Now here is the important part: you will notice that you have banana insides, gross peels and liquid. Remove the peels and squeeze the liquid out of them. The peels can get thrown into your compost. But the banana insides and the juice will go right into your recipe! Mash the bananas with their juice and use them right away. I always measure because bananas vary in size. If you need a few more bananas, just take a few more out of the freezer.
This works so great with gluten-free recipes, because a little extra liquid really never hurts. And, I find that the banana flavor is always more intense after being frozen. Now that you know how to do this, you can buy black bananas from the store if they have them on sale and throw them in the freezer for future use. When I find those kinds of sales, I buy about 20 pounds at a time!
Mostly I think “whatever” about cupcakes. Most of the time, they are nothing. Just a spec of sorta dry cake with some sweet grease on the top. And unfortunately since the dawn of the Fancy Gourmet Cupcake Movement, I have missed out because I can’t frequent those establishments due to their use of wheat flour.
So when Valentines rolled around this year I was thinking brownies, chocolate dipped shortbread etc. But then for some reason I remembered this recipe that I had gotten out of the August 2008 issue of the Alamo Celiac Newsletter for Barfield Banana Cake. The recipe belongs to Anne Barfield of Chicken Paradise Bed and Breakfast here in San Antonio. If you have never heard of it, you should! The Barfield’s cater to all sorts of food allergies, especially Celiac/gluten-intolerant. The property is paradise as the name indicates, but the host and hostess are what make the place out of this world!
But anyway, Anne makes this Banana Cake with the dreamy icing. Her recipe is gluten-free, casein- free (dairy-free) and can go egg-free as well. I’m not a banana cake fan, but this cake wins at everything I bring it to as being so fabulous. I decided to use a Peanut Butter Frosting with a dark chocolate drizzle instead of the white frosting on this go-round. I made a few widgets to this recipe only because I didn’t have a few things it called for.
Barfield Banana Cake (with very minor changes)
Makes 18 cupcakes, 2 8-inch, 9-inch or 10-inch layers
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. Crisco or Spectrum Solid Palm Shortening
3 eggs or 3 T. flax meal (Put into a measuring cup. Add boiling water to make 3/4 c., stir, let sit to thicken)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. plain soy yogurt, goat yogurt, cow yogurt (I used sour cream!)
1 c. mashed very ripe banana
2 c. My GF Flour Mix
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Method of Prep:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put cupcakes papers in cupcake pans, or get your cake pans sprayed with a little non-stick pan spray.
In mixer, combine shortening, sugar and vanilla. Cream together at medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs on at a time or flax mixture until combined well. Cream another few minutes. Take your bananas and mash them well. Combine the yogurt/sour cream with the bananas. Measure all your dry ingredients together and mix well. Alternating dry and wet, and always ending with dry, add the flour mix and banana mix into the mixer. Scrape the bowl down and give it a final mix. Scoop into cupcake pan or cake pans and bake until done, about 15 minutes for cupcakes and 20 minutes for cake layers. Cool well and get ready to frost.
My Peanut Butter Frosting
1 c. creamy peanut butter (I like Skippy Natural)
6 T. butter or crisco or palm shortening
2 c. confectioner’s sugar
5T. warm water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Method of Prep (peanut butter frosting):
Cream the butter/shortening with the peanut butter and the vanilla with your whisk in the mixer. When combined, scrape the bowl and then sprinkle in the confectioner’s sugar. As soon as that it added, your icing will be grainy and thick. Gradually add the water about 1T. at a time until your icing becomes smooth. Once it is smooth, stop adding water ad turn up your speed on the mixer and whip until the icing is fluffy. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes or cake layers.
4 T. Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life or Hershey’s Special Dark, depending on your needs)
Method of Prep (chocolate drizzle):
In a non-metal bowl, microwave chips about 30 seconds at a time until they begin to melt. Stir thoroughly. They may need a final 15 seconds or so once they are all blended. Either drizzle on top of the cupcakes using a pastry bag or make stripes with the chocolate coming off the end of fork.
This is not a dainty spinach salad. Spinach salad always makes me think of Easter. Small, tender spinach leaves support nicely cut boiled eggs, supremed oranges, and crisp bacon. This beast of a salad is not the dainty Easter kind. In fact, the people you are serving this salad to might tentatively serve themselves just a little bit at first. Only to go back for 2-3 more helpings! This salad involves big, craggy spinach leaves and a slightly sweet hot dressing that is poured on at the last minute and tossed immediately to slightly wilt the big spinach leaves. This goes well with everything from chicken to pork or just by itself! Serving a crowd? Then buy 2-3 bunches of big spinach and multiply the dressing into greater amount!
Warm Winter Spinach Salad, Serves 2-3 people
1 large bunch of big, craggy spinach leaves (washed very well and spun dry)
3 slices of thick applewood smoked bacon, diced small
3 boiled eggs, diced small
8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced thin
1 apple, any kind, diced medium
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced finely
1/4 c. whole grain mustard
2 T. maple syrup
1 T. Sherry Vinegar
1T. Rice Vinegar
3T. Olive or Canola Oil
salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
Method of Prep:
Wash all the spinach well and spin dry. Break into bite-size pieces by hand and put into a big bowl. Boil the eggs, cool, dice and set aside. Dice the bacon and saute until crisp. Leave the bacon and it’s fat in the saute pan as you will be using it when you make the dressing. Slice the mushrooms and set aside. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together in a bowl and whisk together. Taste the dressing and salt and pepper to your taste.
When you are ready to serve the salad, heat the pan with the bacon in it. When the pan is hot again, throw the apples and minced garlic into the pan and saute for about 1 minute. Add the dressing and heat until the dressing begins to boil. Turn off the heat. Add the mushrooms and egg to the spinach in the bowl and toss. Then add the hot dressing to the top of the spinach and toss very thoroughly. The hot dressing with coat the spinach, but because you are using large spinach leaves, it will not wilt the salad very much. Serve immediately. You will probably not have any leftovers.
Yeah. Ok. This info isn’t particularily “secret”. But if you like your bagels flavored beyond plain, read on.
For stuff on top of your bagel: This applies to sesame seeds, poppy seeds, salt, caraway, sunflower seeds etc. Get a small shallow plate and put a generous amount of your topping on the plate. As you scoop the bagel out of the boiling water with your slotted spoon, slide the bagel top-side-down right on the topping. This should be all you need to do, the topping will generously stick. Gently pick the bagel up with your hand and place it on the sheet pan with the topping facing up.
For fruity flavors: For example: cinnamon raisin, blueberry, strawberry. This is shown in the picture up at the top. Take a portion of dough that you would like flavored. Sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon for blueberry and strawberry and a little bit more for cinnamon raisin. Now just fold the dough several times and knead the fruit and cinnamon into the dough. Then just portion and roll into a bagel shape accordingly.
Really awesome Everythings: Here is what to put on your Everything bagel: kosher salt, caraway, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic and roasted onion. Seems straight forward but I actually cook the onions and garlic before putting on top of the raw bagel. I find this makes it really authentic.
The garlic you can do on the stove top by heating about 1 T of olive oil for 3-4 cloves of minced garlic. Cook the garlic quickly at medium heat until it is just cooked and barely browned, should take less than 1 minute. Set aside.
The onions, I put my oven onto about 415 degrees. I dice my onions small (about 5T of onion for 6-8 bagels), toss them with 2 T. of olive oil and put them onto a sheet pan spreading them into a single layer. Place the sheet pan on a lower rack of the oven and roast for about 10 minutes, making sure to keep an eye on them. You want them lightly browned, not burnt.
To add the toppings to the bagels, mix all the dry toppings together. Take the bagels out of the boiling water and place them face up onto a sheet pan. Manually sprinkle the dry ingredients onto the tops of the bagels, very generously. Then by hand, add the garlic and onions, also generously to the tops of the bagels and then proof and bake according to instructions.
In the year 1986 I watched my first Superbowl. It was the year that the Patriots squished the fish and then went on the bury the Bears. The Bears didn’t get buried, but what did I care, I was in 4th grade. What I remember though was that my family had received a side of smoked salmon, specifically lox, from someone for Christmas. My mom decided that it was Superbowl snack food and the bagels, cream, lox, onions and capers ensued. I had never had lox before and after that night I ate so much, I wasn’t sure that I would ever eat it again!
So in honor of Superbowl XXwhatereverthisis…here is a fab recipe for GF bagels. They are chewy, delicious toasted or not and are a great vehicle for cream cheese, butter or even meatballs if you are so inclined. They are really not that challenging to make, so try it out. Ever if they don’t come out perfect, they’re still cheaper and better than any frozen GF bagel you can buy at the store!
GF Bagels (adapted from Bette Hagman’s-Sarah’s Bagels recipe from “The Gluten-free Gourmet Bakes Bread”)
Makes 12-16, depending on what size you want then to be
2 c. Rice Flour, white or brown
1 c. Tapioca Flour
1 c. Cornstarch
1/4 c. Dry Milk Powder
1 T. Xanthan Gum
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. sugar
2 packets of Fleishman’s RAPID Rise Yeast
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. Shortening (Crisco or solid palm shortening)
1/2 c. HOT Water
1/2 c. Egg Whites, I use pure liquid egg whites from a carton
1 c. Warm Water (110 degrees-115 degrees)
2 t. white vinegar
My GF Flour Mix for dusting the board for rolling
Preheat your oven to warm. It will be around 200 degrees. You are going to use your oven as a proof-box for the bagels. This is a warm environment, temp controlled and draft free to let your bread rise in.
Put all dry ingredients into the mixing bowl. Measure your solid shortening in a bowl and pour your very HOT water over the shortening. This will start your shortening softening and melting a little bit. If you feel that it’s not hot enough, put bowl with everything in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
Start your mixer and pour in all the wet ingredients, except for the warm water. Let everything mix for a minute, then pour in your warm water. Look at the dough as it mixes, if it seems too dry, add an additional tablespoon of water and see how the dough looks. Mix on medium speed for about 5 minutes.
Dust your counter with My GF flour mix. Scoop out your dough and roll into a tube. Separate into 2 larger sections, and then again, into individual pieces. Get ready to roll.
Roll your dough into a snake about 4 inches long. Then join the two ends together and gently twist so they mesh. Gently pick up your bagel-shape and put it onto a sheet pan that you have dusted with flour. Continue with the other pieces of dough. You should be able to fit 6-8 bagels on a 1/2 sheet pan.
This next part seems trivial, but it’s more important than you think. When your first pan in full of bagels, take a pan spray(like a Pam or whatever you have that’s similar) , and spray each bagel lightly with the spray. Then very gently cover the whole pan with plastic wrap, just so it covers each of the bagels. Place the sheet pan into your warm oven. Continue rolling and sheeting the rest of the bagels and repeat the spraying and wrapping process. Both spraying and wrapping the bagels keeps them moist enough to allow the yeast to rise. If the bagels get dry, the yeast can’t spring up and you will have a dry and cracked surface.
Watch the bagels carefully. Within about 30-45 minutes, they will have doubled in size. Get a pot of water and fill it with about 3 inches of water. Add 1 tsp of sugar to the water and bring to a light boil. Take both sheets of bagels from the oven and turn your oven up to 425 degrees.
Gently pick up a bagel and put it into the water top side down. After about 10 seconds flip it with a slotted spoon. After 10 more seconds, left the bagel out of the water with the slotted spoon and carefully slide it back onto the sheet pan. Do this with all the bagels, I usually do two at a time. If you are going to add outside toppings (sesame, poppy, everything etc) add it now.
Place pans into the oven. One can be on an upper rack, one on a lower rack. About 10 minutes into baking, switch the pans and keep and eye on the bagels so both sides get nice and brown. Remove from the oven, cool slightly and eat them!
Monday, I’ll share my secret for blueberry, strawberry, cinnamon raisin and the elusive everything bagels.
Wow-brioche. I’m sorry to say that I’m not sure I’ve actually had it. I’ve heard rumors about it, like how buttery and light it is. I’ve heard about the delicious French toast it makes. But alas, I’ve never gone there…till now.
I stumbled across this post for Gluten-free Brioche off of Michael Ruhlman’s site last week on my Twitter. It was one of those reposts of a repost of a repost, etc. I’m going to give it a try and let you know my results. Meanwhile, follow the link and try it out for yourself! The recipe seems to get rave reviews!
Hungry? I am and I already had lunch! But talking about Ham and Green Beans make me hungry. My kids like them so much they take leftovers in their lunch box the next day!
Here is the rest of the recipe…
Ham and Green Beans Part II
Ham Stock that you just made
2-3 pounds fresh green beans
4-5 baker potatoes, you can leave the skin on or peel them, large dice
(I like baker potatoes because they have more starch)
salt to taste
Ham-this can be the ham you cut off the bone before you made stock, this can also be a ham steak you bought because you didn’t have a ham bones and used hocks, I love to use a pack of spiral sliced ham ends that I can get at our grocery
Bring ham stock to a boil. Snip the stem end off all the beans and drop them into the pot. Dice the potatoes and throw them in. Season with a little salt. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for an hour to 1 1/2 hours. About 10 minutes before serving, cut up ham and stir it in. Bring back to a boil. Serve steaming hot and crack some black pepper right on the top. It will be sort of a meal with soup included. Serve with a nice green salad:)