Simple Strawberry Raspberry Summer Shortcakes

I found this recipe courtesy of Gluten Free Girl.  There was a note on the recipe that these will remind you of the little shortcakes they sell in the grocery store that are wrapped in the cellophane wrappers and this is so true!  I was amazed at the texture and flavor that came from these little shortcakes.  They are delicious and easy to make so no excuses not to try them this summer!

Ingredients:

1/2 c unsalted butter, softened

1 c confectioners sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 c cornstarch

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

2 c sliced strawberries

1/2 c raspberries

1 T granulated sugar

1 c heavy whipping cream

3 T confectioners sugar

Grease 12 muffin tins with shortening or cooking spray.  Preheat oven to 375F.  Cream butter and 1 c of confectioners sugar using an electric mixer.  Add eggs and vanilla and then beat until light and fluffy.  In a separate bowl combine your cornstarch and baking powder and then slowly add to butter mixture,  Mix until everything is well blended scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.  Fill your muffin tins halfway and then bake for 15 minutes (toothpick should come out clean when they are ready).  Remove from the pan while they are still warm .  Combine half the strawberries and raspberries in a bowl and mash them slightly.  Add the remaining berries and sprinkle with granulated sugar.  Whip the whipping cream and 3T of confectioners sugar until stiff peaks form.  Slice your shortcake in half and top with berries and whipped cream.

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Zucchini Ribbon Salad

 

With the first “official” day of summer approaching I have been seeing so many pictures of zucchini ribbon salads in magazines and online so I decided to try one of these recipes for myself.  I modified one of Rachel Ray’s recipes and left out the avocado because I just wanted the salad to have lots of crunch.  I haven’t eaten much raw zucchini or fennel, but I was pleasantly surprised at how light and yummy it was.  We peeled the zuccchini by mistake (you are supposed to leave the peel on so just give your zucchini a good scrubbing first).

Ingredients:

  • 3 large zucchini
  • 1 bulb  fennel, trimmed, outer layer removed
  • 2 ounces shaved fresh parmesan (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Coarse salt and pepper

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini lengthwise into thin ribbons; discard the seedy centers. Transfer to a bowl. Using a mandoline, shave the fennel bulb into pieces; discard the core. Toss with the zucchini. Fold in the parmesan. Sprinkle with the lemon zest, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.   In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, 1/8 tsp. coarse salt and 1 pinch pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad; toss gently.

Domino’s Gluten-Free Pizza

I was thrilled to hear about the gluten-free pizza crust that was launched earlier this month.  Now as a reminder, the company does not recommend this crust for those suffering from celiac disease.  The statement issued by the company stated:

“Domino’s and the NFCA found that while the crust is certified as gluten free, current store operations at Domino’s cannot guarantee that each handcrafted pizza will be completely free from gluten,” the company’s news release said.

I was pleased that the restaurant near my home has a practice of employees changing gloves before making each pizza so I felt fairly comfortable trying it out.  The crust was buttery and crispy, but it tasted as though it could have stayed in the oven a couple minutes longer since it had a slight doughyness in the middle.  I tried my 10″ pizza with italian sausage, mushrooms, black olives and cheese.  My stomach did not experience any ill effects, but please ask questions of your local Domino’s store and be an informed consumer before placing your order.

Domino's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Cajun Meatloaf

This recipe was modifed from The Pioneer Woman and converted to gluten-free.  The result was a tangy meatloaf that will knock your socks off.  This is not your run of the mill, ordinary meatloaf.  This loaf is packed with cajun flavors that will have you thinking you have been transported down to New Orleans.  I served mine with a twice baked potato and green beans.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½  whole Bell Peppers (red, green, yellow or orange will do)
  • 1 whole Medium Onions
  • 3 ribs of Celery
  • 4-5 cloves Of Garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • Optional: A Few Shakes Of Hot Sauce
  • 1 cup Ketchup, Divided
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • ½ – 1 cup GF breadcrumbs ( I used about 3 slices of Udi’s GF bread that was frozen and crumbled in a food processor)
  • 1 pounds Of Lean Ground Beef 
  • 1/2 pound Ground Pork
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoons Honey

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Chop all of the fresh vegetables (peppers, onions, celery) into a small dice and mince the garlic. Over medium-high heat, melt 6 tablespoons butter. Once butter has melted, add the diced vegetables and garlic. Add about 1 teaspoon salt.

After these have cooked for a few minutes add 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon nutmeg and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper. If you like it hot, add a couple shakes of your favorite hot sauce. Next add about ½ cup of ketchup. Continue cooking and stirring for a few more minutes. Remove from heat.

After allowing the mixture to cool for a couple of minutes, add about ½ cup of milk. Stir until combined. Next add at least 1 cup of breadcrumbs. Continue adding breadcrumbs and stirring until mixture is a nice, thick paste.

In a large mixing bowl place the ground beef and pork. Whisk 3 eggs and add to the meat. After allowing the pasty vegetable mixture to cool down a bit, begin incorporating it into the meat. Keep working all of the Cajun-Vegetable mix into the meat until all is blended well.

Spray a sheet pan with some non-stick cooking spray. Next, using your hands, form your meat mixture into a loaf on the sheet pan. Make the loaf around 6-8 inches wide and about 1 ½ inches thick.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together ¾ cup of ketchup with about 2 tablespoons honey. Slather this sauce over the whole meatloaf.

Place in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes.

Incredible St. Louis Ribs

I used Tyler Florence’s ultimate rib recipe for these and they were lip licking good!  The recipe calls for baby back ribs, but I used the St. Louis style.  This is what summer is all about….eating great barbeque and soaking up some of that warm sunshine.  I served mine with some crispy kale and potato salad.  Try them for yourself.

Ingredients:

  • 2 slabs baby back ribs or St. Louis style ribs (about 3 pounds)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 bacon slices
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 smashed garlic cloves
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup peach or apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard 
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Put the ribs on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Stick them in the oven, and let the ribs bake, low and slow for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Wrap the bacon around the middle of the thyme sprigs and tie with kitchen twine so you have a bundle. Heat a 2 T of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the thyme bundle and cook slowly for 3 to 4 minutes to cook out some of  the bacon fat and give the sauce a nice smoky taste. Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Add all of the rest of the sauce ingredients, give the sauce a stir, and turn the heat down to low. Cook slowly for 20 minutes. Put some sauce in a separate bowl for basting, reserving the remaining sauce for serving.

Baste the ribs with the sauce and let them continue cooking, basting twice more, for 30 more minutes. When the ribs are cooked, take them out of the oven.

When ready to eat, preheat the broiler or grill for 5 minutes and cook the ribs, basting with the sauce. They should become crisp and charred, about 5 minutes on each side. Pick the onion and garlic out of the sauce and serve with ribs.

Puffy Chicken Tostadas

We enjoyed our Mother’s Day by making some homemade corn tortillas and frying them up to make Puffy Tostadas.  They were very yummy.  There’s nothing like the taste of a homemade tortilla made with corn masa.  Enjoy!

Puffy Tortilla

INGREDIENTS (makes 14 tostadas)

3 cups corn masa mix

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 1/4 cups warm water

DIRECTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. When the dough is consistent begin rolling dough balls about the size of a ping pong ball.

Using a tortilla press that is lined in a thick plastic, press out the dough. You use the plastic (it can be a Ziploc bag that has been cut) so that the dough does not stick to the tortilla press

  2-3 c shredded chicken

  1 large yellow onion, chopped

  1/2 head garlic clove, peeled and chopped

  1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies

  1 cup chicken stock

  1 tablespoon smoked paprika

  2 tablespoons ground cumin

  2 tablespoons chili powder

  2 teaspoons Mexican oregano

  1 teaspoon salt

  1/2 teaspoon pepper

  1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Place everything except the tortillas and oil in a crockpot or slow cooker and set to high for three hours or until meat is easily removed from the bone (the thickest part of chicken should read 180 degrees on a meat thermometer).  Remove chicken and let cool, leaving sauce in the vessel.  When cool enough to handle, pull the chicken meat from the bone and shred. Add shredded meat back into the sauce. Discard chicken skin and bones.  Reduce crockpot or slow cooker to low and simmer meat in sauce for at least one additional hour (the longer the better).  Meanwhile, pour vegetable oil into a frying pan until 1/4″ deep. Heat oil to 350 degrees or until a flour tortilla “puffs” up and browns quickly.  Add one flour tortilla at a time into oil and fry one side until lightly browned.  Flip over and fry the other side until lightly browned.  Remove from oil, add a pinch of kosher salt and place on a cooling rack.  Repeat until desired number of Puffy Tostada Shells are done.  Serve with lettuce, tomato, cilantro and queso fresco cheese.

 

Easy Parsnip Fries

I’ll confess.  Sometimes I enjoy watching Martha Stewart.  I know she may not be that likeable, but the woman knows how to cook and decorate.  I find her magazine to be filled with beautiful recipes and projects, but some of them are a bit on the complex side.  Today I bring you a simple recipe from Martha Stewart for parsnip fries.  Okay, another confession.  I had never eaten a parsnip before making this recipe so I wasn’t sure what was in store.  I found the flavor to be a cross between a carrot and a turnip.  I happen to like both so I thought these were pretty yummy. 

Ingredients:

2 1/2 pounds medium parsnips

2 tablespoons olive oil

Coarse salt and ground pepper

Trim tops and bottoms of parsnips, peel and slice crosswise in half to separate wide and narrow portions.  Cut into equal size pieces about 3-4 inches long.   Preheat oven to 450F.  Toss parsnips with olive oil on two baking sheets.  Season liberally with salt and pepper and spread out into one layer.  Roast for about 25 minutes tossing halfway through cooking time.

These are a healthier snack for a party or a different side dish to have with lunch or dinner.  Enjoy!

Homemade Banana Pudding and Vanilla Wafers

 

Is it possible to make a delicious gluten-free banana pudding completely from scratch?  I found out the answer to that question this weekend is:  “You’re darn tooting!”  I found the recipe below on about.com.

We started by making some simple vanilla wafer cookies and then let them cool.  We then made a homemade vanilla pudding and layered that with bananas and then topped the whole thing off with meringue.  Make sure you chill this really well before serving though as it is best cold.

Vanilla Wafer Ingredients:

2 large eggs

2/3 granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp fresh grated lemon peel

pinch of salt

1 c gluten-free all-purpose flour mix

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

10T melted, cool unsalted butter

2T granulated sugar to dip glass in to press cookies

Preheat oven to 375F.  Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.  Combine eggs and sugar in large mixing bowl and beat on high until creamy (3 minutes).  Add vanilla, lemon and salt.  Beat to combine and then gradually add flour and xanthan gum.  Beat until just combined and slowly drizzle in melted butter into mixture. 

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons and leave 1 1/2 inches between cookies.  Dip glass in sugar and lightly press down on each cookie.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until cookies are golden and crisp.

Pudding Ingredients:

6 8-ounce ramekins

2/3 c granulated sugar

1/3 c cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt

4c milk or light coconut milk

4 eggs  separated – use whites for meringue

2T unsalted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 ripe peeled bananas sliced

Meringue Ingredients:

Use 4 egg whites

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1/4 c granulated sugar

To prepare pudding, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and milk in a heavy saucepan and whisk to blend.  Cook over medium heat whisking constantly for 7 minutes.  Mixture should thicken and bubble.  Boil for 1 minute while continuing to whisk and then remove pan from heat.  Place egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk to blend.  Slowly drizzle 1/2 c of hot pudding into egg yolks whisking constantly to temper the eggs.  Drizzle egg mixture back into pan with hot pudding and return pan to heat while whisking constantly.  Cook for about 2 minutes (mixture should just start to bubble) and then remove from heat.  Stir in butter.

Preheat oven to 425F.  Place some wafers in the bottom of each ramekin and layer 1/4 c pudding on top. Layer some bananas on top of pudding and then repeat with one more layer of pudding and one additional layer of bananas.  Layer more wafers around the inside of the ramekin. 

Prepare meringue by placing room temp egg whites and cream of tartar in medium mixing bowl.  Beat on high for 2 minutes until mixture is frothy.  Add sugar 1 T at a time until mixture is glossy and peaks form, but don’t overbeat. 

Use a spoon to mound meringue on top of each ramekin and bake for 5-8 minutes until meringue is golden brown.  Cool for 30 minutes and then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Buffalo Chicken Salad

It’s getting to be a lot warmer here in the southeast so I like to serve a lot of lighter salads and grilled fare for dinners.  We tried a recipe for a buffalo chicken salad and it was really yummy and completely gluten-free.  The chicken strips were juicy and the salad had all the yummy flavors of a buffalo chicken sandwich just without the bread.

Ingredients:

2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded to 3/4 inch thickness and cut into 3-inch strips

4T Frank’s Red Hot cayenne pepper sauce

4 tsp olive oil

2 hearts of romaine lettuce heads chopped

2 celery stalks sliced

2 carrots grated

3 scallions chopped

Preheat broiler in oven.  In a large bowl combine hot sauce and olive oil reserving about half for later.  Add chicken to bowl of pepper sauce and toss until well coated.  Arrange chicken on baking sheet and broil for 4-6 minutes turning over halfway through cooking.

In a large bowl combine remaining ingredients and toss.  Serve salad topped with chicken and blue cheese dressing.  Drizzle chicken with additional buffalo sauce for extra kick.

Blue Cheese Dressing Ingredients:

2 T mayo

1/4 c buttermilk

1/4 c plain low fat yogurt

1 T white vinegar

1/2 tsp granulated sugar

1/3 c crumbled blue cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Spoon yogurt onto folded paper towl and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes to drain and thicken or try using greek yogurt.  In a medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, yogurt and mayo until smooth.  Add vinegar and sugar and whisk.  Stir in blue cheese and season to taste.