Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mmm soup.. I mean noodle soup.. I mean soup..

I love sweet potatoes. They're naturally sweet, delicious, and best of all.. they're ORANGE! After craving them for months on end, I finally purchased a few. I pondered what to do.. bake them straight, make a smoothie I found online.. then it dawned on me. Make a soup!! I threw some tastiness in a pot and let it simmer for a few hours and voila!

Warning: This soup is a tad on the spicy side, I think the next time I might reduce the amount of chipotle and throw in some diced chicken.

Sweet Potato Soup
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 onion thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 can butter beans, well rinsed
2 chipotle peppers, diced
2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup skim milk
1 cup corn
A pinch of lemon zest
Dash celery salt, pepper, and cinnamon, to taste

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on high for an hour, then reduce to low and simmer until potatoes are done just the way you like them. You can puree the soup if you'd like a more consistent look, but I just left it alone. Enjoy!

Lavender Butterscotch Blondies


Definitely not the prettiest thing I've ever made.. but a superbly sweet treat for that sweet tooth! This is another recipe I whipped up to add Kyle's monthly care package! I got this recipe from another gluten free blogger who adapted the recipe from the Joy of Cooking. As you know, I can't leave any recipe well enough alone so I added some lavender to the mix. I chose lavender because I wanted Kyle to try something truly unique. This recipe is very gooey and at first I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to send my creation in the mail. I threw the pan in the refrigerator overnight to firm the blondies up. This worked like a charm and I was able to add them to the box!

Lavender Butterscotch Blondies
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lavender

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in microwave and stir in brown sugar until completely moistened. Let cool slightly, then stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into a well greased 8x8 pan and bake 15 to 20 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.

(She suggests adding 1/2 teaspoon xantham gum if you want to double the recipe, but I refuse to cook with the stuff, as I don't like the sound of it. I know, strange, but that's me!)

Molasses Globs


It's that time of the month.. the time to send Kyle goodies through the mail! I really love to send him cookies or whatever I can fit into the mailbox and send out. I didn't have the ingredients for his favorites from the last time I sent him cookies, so I searched my cookbooks for a new one. I broke open this cookbook I've had for years, Milk'n'Honey Cookbook for Kids and altered the cookie recipe in it. The original recipe calls for margarine, honey, and raisins. Kyle doesn't like raisins, I don't like margarine, and I've been wanting to bake with molasses. These cookies turned out delightfully unique and tasty! I sent them out to Kyle and he absolutely adores them. Good thing I kept a baggie full of dough in the freezer to nibble on..

Molasses Globs
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup softened butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups rice flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips
sugar and cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheet (I only have one that I can use since my oven is the size of a tissue box..) with some olive oil. Mix together brown sugar, butter, molasses, and egg. Slowly add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and oats until well blended. Mix in chocolate chips until just blended. Roll dough into balls about the size of .. well.. it says walnuts but I just kinda guestimated since I have no idea what the size of a walnut is. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Press the balls flat with a spoon dipped in sugar and cinnamon. Bake about 10 minutes or until lightly browned and edges are set. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Then enjoy!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Banana Bread Bonanza


Last night I had a conundrum; I wanted to bake banana bread but did not have a gluten-free recipe for it. Sure, I had a recipe for regular banana bread (taken from the Grandma's Touch cookbook my mom bought me years ago) but I vividly remember the last time I tried to convert a recipe to gluten free. Let's just say it turned out to be chocolate GOO rather than brownies. Haha! But I really wanted banana bread.. so I gathered up my courage and converted it anyway! As I'm happily adding ingredients into my mixer, I was horrified to see that the recipe called for 1 CUP of bananas rather than 1 banana in itself. No wonder the mixture looked so runny. I grabbed some banana chips off the shelf of the pantry and crushed up a handful or so of them and threw them into the mixture hoping that would solve my problem. Well I don't know if it solved things or not, but the bread came out beautifully and is a big hit at the bank! Hooray for banana bread success!

Banana Bread
1 3/4 cups brown rice flour
1/8 cup flax seed
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Handful crushed banana chips
Cinnamon, to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil plus 1 tbspn butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 mashed banana (I just broke up the banana and let the mixer mash it in)
1 cup skim milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat together oil, sugar and egg. Add bananas and milk; combine well. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into a greased and floured 5 x 9" loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tuna Lettuce Wraps

Today I discovered the tastiest thing on earth (next to chocolate) thanks to Kindra. While on my quest for what to make for dinner tonight I mentioned that I had a head of lettuce I needed to use. Kindra told me to make up some tuna saladand eat it with lettuce as a wrap. I must admit that I had never thought to put the two together before.. but the very mere idea had me salivating! I hurried home and mixed together a can of tuna, some crumbled cheddar cheese, a hard boiled egg, a handful of sliced veggies, and some ketchup mixed with yellow mustard. I slathered some of that awesome spread onto the leaves of crisp lettuce and .. well.. I devoured the whole bowl. Kindra was dead on.. what can I say?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Brown Rice Flour Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce


I just returned from my Clemson, SC vacation! Don't get too excited, though it was very sunny and pleasant.. it was COLD! While there I was determined to use up Kyle's brown rice flour and in turn created a delicious pancake recipe for our Valentine's Day lunch! The flavor for the pancakes was inspired by an awesome strawberry, onion, and spinach salad my mom served last summer. Kyle said they reminded him of potato latkes. The combination of ingredients was downright delightful! I whipped up a strawberry sauce, that, while tasty, was not the right consistency. I'm still working on my syrups! It did include freshly sliced strawberries simmered in a pot with sugar and water. Anyhow, without further ado, I give you..

Brown Rice Flour Pancakes
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 egg
1 cup milk (I used skim)
2 green onions, minced
3 generous handfuls shredded cheese (I used a parmesan-asiago blend)
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium mixing bowl, pour milk over the brown rice flour and set aside for 5 minutes. Whisk the egg and add, along with remaining ingredients, to the bowl. Mix until batter is just coming together and allow it to rest for another 5 minutes. Melt some butter on a hot griddle before ladeling batter on. Allow to cook for a few minutes on each side, until the pancake is lightly browned, before flipping. Serve with freshly sliced strawberries or a strawberry syrup.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Homemade Granola


So there I was at work, surfing the gluten-free blogs, when I ran across Gluten Free Mommy's recipe for homemade granola. Of course I printed it off right away! I've found a few recipes but I hadn't found any that really piqued my interest like this one! I tweaked it a bit since I've never ever been able to just follow a recipe to the letter. Here's my variation of GFM's granola! In fact, this recipe is so delicious it might even replace brownies in my book..

2 cups oats
1/3 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup banana chips
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
2 heaping tablespoons natural peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I LOVE Watkins)
3 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all the dry ingredients into a large bowl. In a small saucepan combine peanut butter, honey, butter, oil, and vanilla. Once the peanut butter mixture is combined, stir it into the dry ingredients until oats are well moistened. Spread granola onto a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees. The granola gets crispier as it cools. Cool at least 20 minutes before storing in a sealed container.

Update: A few days ago I made this recipe with molasses instead of honey (not quite a 1/2 cup).. I don't think I've ever tasted such granola perfection. Munch munch munch..

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Butter Files

Cinnamon agave walnut butter

So the past few days I have been experimenting with my Christmas present.. my brand new food processor. Now let me tell you - this thing is AWESOME! I have no idea how I got along without one for so long. It makes me feel like a kid in a candy store! It can do everything. Blend up soups, make hummus (which will be making a blog appearance of its own later on), and all sorts of nut butters! I'm still perfecting my recipe, so I haven't posted one yet. I have tried a raw walnut butter made with raw walnuts out of the freezer, extra virgin olive oil, cinnamon and agave nectar to sweeten it up. This one tastes amazing with cut up apples, though it was missing a little something. Tonight I tried roasting the wanuts over the stove with some ground ginger, salt, and a tiny bit of mango extract (courtesy of my mom through the Watkins she sells). After roasting I added them to the processor with some light tasting EVOO and a little agave nectar. This is also good, but next time I will try soaking or blanching the nuts before buttering them! Eventually I'll get this whole thing right, though I am enjoying eating the mistakes!! =)