Thursday, March 31, 2011

Orange Chicken Stir-Fry

One food item from our pre-GF days that Mike and I have been craving is Chinese. Last night, we created a tasty Orange Chicken Stir-Fry recipe. The flavor is phenomenal and it didn't take us too long to prepare. This recipe is definitely As Good As Gluten orange chicken!

·1 ½ cup brown rice                           
·¾ cup orange juice                           
·¼ cup GF Soy Sauce Substitute (or GF soy sauce)        
·1 TBS cornstarch                              
·1 TBS grated orange zest                              
·½ tsp ground ginger                                       
·2 TBS EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
·¼ tsp ground red pepper
·1 small onion (any type), halved and thinly sliced (I used what I had at home - a yellow onion - but red or green would add more flavor)
·2 cups fresh veggies of choice, chopped into bite-sized pieces (I used broccoli, but bell peppers or snap peas would also taste good)
·1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
·Salt and pepper

Prepare rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, whisk orange juice, soy sauce, and cornstarch in a bowl until cornstarch dissolves. Mix in orange zest and ginger. Set aside.

Heat EVOO in a medium non-stick skillet. When oil is hot, salt and pepper the chicken, add to skillet, and stir-fry until cooked thoroughly, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken and add red pepper, onion, and vegetables. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Add chicken and orange sauce mixture and toss until sauce thickens and comes to a boil, about 3 minutes. Serve over rice.

Prep time: 10 minutes; Cook time: 10 minutes; Serves: 4

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

GF Soy Sauce Substitute

One pantry staple we never have is GF soy sauce. Even in our pre-GF days, we rarely had a use for soy sauce. Lately, Mike and I have been wanting to try more Asian-inspired recipes. So, I searched for a soy sauce substitute and took tips I saw in different recipes to create this GF Soy Sauce Substitute. What I like about this recipe is that I always have the ingredients at home and it was easy to quickly prepare. I used some of this GF Soy Sauce Substitute in an delicious Orange Chicken Stir-Fry recipe, which I'll be posting tomorrow.

·1 cup beef broth
·½ cup water
·1 TBS plus 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
·2 teaspoons brown sugar
·¼ teaspoon ground ginger
·½ teaspoon pepper
·½ teaspoon garlic powder
·1 tsp sea salt

In a saucepan over medium heat, stir all ingredients. Boil gently until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, about 15 minutes.

Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 1 cup

Monday, March 28, 2011

GF Chocolate Layer Cake

One of my best friends is getting married this summer, and this was the cake for her wedding shower this past weekend. First off, I can't take credit for the design - it was the awesome idea of the another one of my best friends. And, I had major help making the cake from my mom and husband.

This was my first attempt at working with store-bought fondant (I used Chef Duff's line from Michael's). I found that making a fondant cake is somewhat difficult and takes a lot of time. But, the outcome is worth it.

The top layer of the cake was the GF Chocolate Layer Cake with Vanilla frosting. The texture was moist, the chocolate flavor was rich, and (best of all) there was no GF after-taste. A quote from another GF friend at the shower sums up this cake quite well, "This tastes like REAL cake!"

Wet Ingredients:
·1 whole egg plus 1 egg white
·⅓ cup canola oil
·½ cup milk plus 1 tsp lemon juice
·½ tsp vanilla
·½ cup coffee

Dry Ingredients:
·1 cup sugar
·1 cup GF all-purpose flour with xanthan gum (if your mix does not include xanthan, add 1 tsp)
·1½ tsp baking powder
·¼ tsp salt
·⅓ cup cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease and flour one 8 inch pan or two small 4-6 inch pans. Beat 2 egg whites on high until fluffy and peaks form. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder). Measure wet ingredients (1 egg yolk, oil, milk and lemon juice, vanilla, and coffee) and then add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well with an electric mixer. Fold in egg whites. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack. Frost when completely cool. (I've frosted this cake with vanilla frosting and pink buttercream fondant and have also had it with peanut butter frosting - both have tasted great).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Crustless Broccoli & Cheese Mini Quiches

I came across this recipe for Crustless Broccoli & Cheese Mini Quiches while participating in the Seasonal Sunday Event yesterday. I whipped up a slightly different version of Crustless Broccoli & Cheese Mini Quiches tonight, and I am so glad I did! This recipe is so easy to make and tastes great! It could be served as breakfast or a side dish or light meal for lunch or dinner. I love the idea of Mini Quiches because I can freeze half of the batch and not be "stuck" eating a whole pie plate of quiche for a week. And, the crustless version makes this an easy As Good As Gluten recipe!

·½ pkg (12 oz) frozen broccoli
·4 eggs
·⅓ cup milk
·1 tsp Dijon mustard
·1 tsp freshly ground pepper
·½ medium-sized onion, chopped
·½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease 12 muffin cup tins with olive oil. Steam broccoli (on stovetop or in the microwave), then chop and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, mustard, and pepper. Stir in broccoli, onion, and cheese. Ladle mixture into muffin cup tins, dividing evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the center of the quiche is set.

Yields: Makes 10-12 mini quiches.

I've also shared this recipe on: This Week's Cravings, Seasonal Sunday

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pink Grapefruit GF Cupcakes

With the spring-like weather lately, I was in the mood to bake something light and fruity. I found a grapefruit in the fridge and decided to create my own Pink Grapefruit cupcake recipe. I've never had a Pink Grapefruit cupcake before, but I'm really pleased with my outcome! My Pink Grapefruit GF Cupcakes are delectable - very flavorful, citrus-y, light, and refreshing!

When I pulled the cupcakes out of the oven, the tops were very poofy. And, of course, they started to sink a little when they were cooling. Luckily, the tops just flattened out to stay a little poofy, and they didn't sink completely like my Black Bean Cupcakes did! I was afraid of what the texture of the cupcakes would end up like, but to my delight they are moist and spongy!

·1 large grapefruit, zest and juiced
Cupcake Ingredients:
·3 large eggs, separated
·¾ cup sugar
·¾ cup GF all-purpose flour
·½ tsp xanthan gum
·1 tsp baking powder
·½ tsp baking soda
·¼ tsp sea salt
Frosting Ingredients:
·2 TBS butter, softened
·1½ - 2 cups powdered sugar
·1 TBS maraschino cherry juice

Preheat oven to 350˚. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Zest grapefruit and then juice it. Set aside in separate bowls.

Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. In a kitchen stand-mixer, beat egg yolks for 3-5 minutes until light yellow in color. Add sugar and beat until well-combined.

In a separate bowl, combine GF flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in 1-2 TBS of grated grapefruit zest and ¼ cup of grapefruit juice.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites on high until fluffy. Then fold egg whites by hand into cupcake batter until completely combined.

Pour batter into muffin tins filling about ¾ of the way up. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the muffin pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

In kitchen stand-mixer, beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Add 2 TBS grapefruit juice, ½ cup of powdered sugar, and maraschino cherry juice. Mix until smooth while also gradually adding the remaining powdered sugar. Fold in 1 TBS of grapefruit zest by hand.

Frost cupcakes once cool and garnish with grapefruit segments.

Yields: 12 cupcakes

I've also shared this recipe on: Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Seasonal Sundays, Gluten Free Wednesdays, This Week's Cravings

Friday, March 18, 2011

Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger: Gluten Free Easily

Last month was my first month participating in the "Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger" event. It was a lot of fun and “introduced” me to more fantastic GF bloggers! This month’s adoption is hosted by the creator of this great event – Sea at Book of Yum. I was anxiously awaiting the announcement of the March adoption because I knew exactly who I wanted adopt – Shirley at Gluten Free Easily (GFE). 

I've been following (and admiring) Shirley's blog and great recipes since I first became GF. I also recently nominated Shirley for the Versatile Blogger Award. To understand why I nominated her, all you need to do is look at her GFE Recipes page. I definitely have Shirley to thank for my Super Easy Pie Crust recipe. I only made one slight modification to her No Roll Never Fail Press in GF Pie Crust recipe, which is such an easy, delicious, and versatile recipe!

I've had fun making Shirley's recipes, and they all definitely live up to her name - Gluten Free Easily!

Flourless Pizza
click here for recipe
I’ve had Shirley’s Flourless Pizza recipe on my list to try for a few months. When I first saw the recipe, I was intrigued but hesitant to try Flourless Pizza crust. I finally got around to making it last weekend and am so glad I did. I made a sausage and onion Flourless Pizza and it tastes fantastic; definitely As Good As Gluten!

I loved Mike's quotes as he was eating a slice. After his first bite, he said "Oh my gosh, this is amazing!" After he was done, he exclaimed "That was delicious! Good work!" I must say that I feel the same way!

Here’s what the crust looks like after baking it in the oven for 20 minutes.

And, here’s what the final Flourless Pizza looks like after the crust has cooled and has been baked again with the toppings.

Garlic Cheese Biscuits
click here for recipe
Another GFE recipe I’ve had on my list is Garlic Cheese Biscuits. My husband loves Red Lobster, but I think we’ve only been there once together (there are limited options for someone like me who is GF and not a big seafood fan!). Mike’s been making fish for Friday night dinners during Lent, which provided a great opportunity to finally make Garlic Cheese Biscuits. I followed Shirley's recipe and took her advice in her "notes" section by adding the minced garlic to the biscuit batter before baking and omitting the extra butter.

These Garlic Cheese Biscuits are so flavorful, moist, and delicious!! And, of course, As Good As Gluten. This recipe is definitely going to be a new staple in our home, as there are so many dishes these biscuits would go well with!

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Pantry - Udi's GF Whole Grain Bread

I really enjoy Udi's GF products. Every single Udi's product I've tried has been as good as gluten. I tried Udi's GF Whole Grain Bread last week as a grilled cheddar cheese and apple sandwich. Udi's bread, and the seemingly odd grilled cheese and apple combination, was DELICIOUS! The bread has the perfect texture and tastes great!

Yes, the bread is significantly smaller and more expensive than regular, gluten bread. But, I haven't found a GF bread that isn't.

 Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought, loved, and wanted to share with you!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Santa Fe Chicken (Crockpot)

A friend told me about this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats, and I finally got around to trying it a few weekends ago. The flavor is PHENOMENAL and it can be eaten as a soup or as a main dish (by draining the broth and serving over rice or in tortillas). We had it over rice (delicious) and over tortilla chips as nachos (even more delicious)!

·1 can (apx. 14 oz) chicken broth
·1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
·1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
·8 oz frozen corn
·3 green onions, sliced
·1 tsp each of cumin, dried cilantro, garlic powder, onion powder
·¾ tsp cayenne pepper
·Salt, to taste
·2 large chicken breasts, thawed

Combine all ingredients from chicken broth to salt in crockpot. Salt chicken breasts, lay on top of mixture and cook on low for 7 hours (or high for 4 hours). Remove chicken breasts and shred. Return shredded chicken to crockpot, stir to combine, taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve over rice, tortilla chips, or in tortillas. Top with more green onions, sour cream, cheese, and fresh cilantro.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays, This Week's Craving

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Introducing Great Outdoor Eats

I've talked a little about my husband, Mike, on my blog. However, you only know him as my sous chef and official As Good As Gluten taste tester. Mike recently commented that we have developed a bond in the kitchen cooking and baking together, and I truly agree with him. Among a long list of qualities I love about my wonderful husband is amazing cook.

For Lent this year, I gave up various forms of technology (social networking, most iPad apps, etc.). Don't worry, I'm still blogging and "allowing" myself to log-on to Facebook and Twitter to post quick blog updates only. So far, I am really enjoying the "break" from technology, and I know I'll try to keep my technology use to a minimum once Lent is over.

Mike, on the otherhand, gave up beef and pork for Lent. We're not even a week into Lent and he is really recognizing what a big sacrifice he has made. And, I'm really proud of him for staying true to his commitment. Personally, it wouldn't have been a big sacrifice if I gave up beef and pork, since I'm not a big meat lover. Mike, however, is 100% man and an avid hunter and fisherman.

At this point, you're probably wondering why I'm spending so much time writing about my husband and Lent? Well, it's to introduce you to Mike's new blog Great Outdoor Eats.

Due to Mike's Lenten sacrifice, he's limited to the traditional choices of chicken, turkey, and fish. Being an avid hunter, we also have a deep freezer full of deer and pheasant from Mike's hunting season this past fall. These past few days, Mike has been searching his wildlife cookbooks for new ways to cook deer, pheasant, and fish. As a result, Mike has decided to start a cooking blog, Great Outdoor Eats, to "bring the great outdoors to your dinner table!"

I'm anxious to see what recipes he comes up with. And, I know Mike's anxious to see how many of them I'll actually try (have I mentioned I'm a picky meat eater?)! We'll both be shocked to see how many of Mike's recipes I'll actually enjoy!

Mike is not gluten-free, but he does follow a primarily gluten-free diet since I am GF. I wanted to share with you my top 5 As Good As Gluten recipes, thus far, that Mike has made. They are either recipes Mike concocted himself or recipes he found and added his own spin.
  1. Eggplant Parmesan
  2. Garlic Chicken to Die For
  3. Mike's Cider Beef with Smashed Cheddar Potatoes
  4. Mike's GF Chicken Bacon Ranch
  5. Blackened Tilapia
Stay tuned, this will be an interesting journey for the both of us! :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

GF Thin Mint Cookies

I L-O-V-E Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies. Needless to say, I was disappointed when Girl Scout cookie ordering time came and I couldn't order my beloved Thin Mints. Don't worry, I still supported the Girls Scouts by buying a few boxes of cookies that will be sent to the troops.

I spent this afternoon writing and perfecting my very own GF Thin Mint Cookie recipe. I'm ecstatic that the outcome was very, very, very successful! These GF Thin Mint Cookies are AMAZING, FANTASTIC, DELICIOUS, and as good as gluten! Actually, as good as Girl Scouts! You'll have to try my recipe for yourself to truly understand my overwhelming joy! 

Cookie Ingredients:                                      
·½ cup butter, softened                                
·¾ cup sugar                                                    
·1 egg                                                                
·½ tsp peppermint extract                           
·1 cup GF all-purpose flour                           
·½ tsp xanthan gum           
·½ cup cocoa powder             
·¼ tsp salt  
·½ tsp baking soda
Chocolate Coating Ingredients:
·1 bag (12 oz) mint chocolate chips 
·2 TBS butter

Preheat oven to 350˚. In a stand mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat until well mixed. Beat in egg and peppermint extract. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, xanthan gum, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add flour mixture into stand mixer, beating well after each addition.

Shape dough into two cylinders (1 ½ inches in diameter). Wrap each cylinder with plastic wrap and freeze for ½ hour.

Remove cookie dough from freezer and slice into ¼ inch thick cookies. Place cookies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are firm at the edges. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack.

Once cool, melt mint chocolate chips and butter together in a microwave-safe bowl (stir frequently). Dip cookies into chocolate coating and let dry on parchment paper.
Yield: About 60 cookies. (Freeze some right away and hope they last longer than a few days! I have some in my freezer that I hope survive the next two weeks so I can share with my parents and siblings on my next trip home!)

*Note: You can use semi-sweet chocolate chips in replacement of mint chocolate chips. Once semi-sweet chocolate chips and butter are melted, stir in 1-2 tsp of peppermint extract.

I've also shared this recipe on: Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Seasonal Sundays

Friday, March 11, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

I love blogging! I am being "introduced" to so many fantastic bloggers. I was nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award by The Fibromyalgia & Endometriosis Theory. Thank you! What I love about this nomination is that it is from a non-GF blogger. Which means my blog and recipes are versatile for multiple audiences. Yay! 
I graciously accept The Versatile Blogger Award. And, it comes with a few rules:

- Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
- Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers. (This rule was hard, so some of the bloggers I nominated are very recent discoveries while others I discovered awhile ago. They are all great bloggers, nonetheless.)
- Contact the bloggers to let them know you've given them an award.

My nominees are.... (if you've received this award in the past, another nomination just proves how seriously awesome and versatile you are!)
  • 18 Hour Kitchen - I like Kelly's healthy and tasty GF recipes (and they're sugar-free)!
  • A Year of Slow Cooking - It's no secret that I love Stephanie's GF crockpot recipes!
  • Book of Yum - Sea started the Adopt a GF Blogger event and I just discovered this amazing event!
  • Eating Bird Food - I recently discovered her blog and cannot wait to start trying her healthy and delicious recipes!
  • Hey, that tastes good! - I like Jill's variety of GF recipes!
  • Gluten Free Easily - I've been following (and admiring) Shirley's blog and great recipes since I first became GF!
  • Gratefully Gluten Free - I've enjoyed making a few of her delicious bread and muffin recipes!
  • Lexie's Kitchen - Not only did Lexie host February's Adopt a GF Blogger event, but she has great GF recipes!
  • Lynn's Kitchen Adventures - I really like the variety and simplicity of Lynn's recipes!
  • Real Sustenance - I love Brittany's Seasonal Sunday event, and, of course, her delicious recipes!
  • Simply Gluten Free - I've also been following and admiring Carol's blog and recipes since the beginning of my GF days!
  • Sophie's Food Files - I like the variety of Sophie's recipes - every one looks tasty!
  • Sticky Feet: Part Deux - Jamie is the only blogger I personally know and am honored to call a friend! She's the only non-food blogger in my nomination list, but she has an amazing versatility of posts (including recipes).
  • The Baking Beauties - I really like the variety and simplicity of Jeanine's recipes!
  • The G-Spot Revolution - I recently discovered Caroline's blog and I love her current Rachael Ray challenge! I also LOVE Rachael Ray and enjoy turning Rachael's recipes into GF versions.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies (Crockpot)

I made these crockpot brownies from Stephanie's blog A Year of Slow Cooking a month or so ago for dinner guests. I was surprised that you could successfully make brownies in the crockpot! My brownies turned out quite well, minus the burnt edges.

We thought the Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies tasted more like a cookie bar than a brownie. Stephanie's recipe is really good and we ate it all, but it had too much peanut butter flavor for us to probably make again. If I made this recipe again, I'd probably add less butter and peanut butter and substitute brown sugar for part of the granulated sugar.

Visit Stephanie's blog here for the recipe and for her brownie picture (it definitely looks more appetizing than mine)! :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Pantry: Chebe Pizza Crust Mix

I bought Chebe's Pizza Crust Mix on one of my first GF grocery shopping trips and finally got around to cooking it last night (yes, 6 months later!). The flavor was excellent with the toppings we used - mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, provolone cheese, tomato sauce, freshly sliced tomatoes, minced garlic, and basil. Yum!

What I liked about Chebe's pizza crust is that it was thin and crispy but still moist and soft in the middle. What I didn't like about Chebe's crust mix is that it took as much time and effort to prepare as homemade pizza crust from scratch. If you're in a rush, Udi's Pre-Made Pizza Crust is definitely the your option for fast and tasty pre-made GF crust.

Now that I'm more experienced cooking from scratch with GF flours, I'm going to work on turning my favorite gluten pizza crust recipe into a gluten-free recipe. Do you have any tips for making gluten-free pizza crust from scratch?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. It's a product I bought and wanted to share with you!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blackened Tilapia

If you know me, you know I'm not a seafood eater. I never have been; however, over the past few years, I've become more open to trying foods that I used to dislike. Last year, my mom made this dish for my birthday and I actually liked it! A few nights ago, Mike planned to make tilapia, so he called Mom for her recipe. And, it turned out just as I remember it a year ago...SO good! I gobbled down my fillet very quickly!

·4 tilapia fillets (if frozen, defrost according to package directions)
·2 TBS paprika
·2 tsp onion powder
·2 tsp garlic powder
·¼ tsp cayenne pepper
·A few fresh cracks of black pepper
·1 tsp oregano
·½ tsp coriander
·½ tsp thyme

Pat fish dry. Combine all spices in a small bowl and rub tilapia with spice mixture. Drizzle EVOO in a medium-sized pan and then pan-fry fish about 4 minutes on each side.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sunday

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes

WOW!! I am shocked that these PB&J Cupcakes taste SO SO SO good!! It's a peanut butter and jelly chocolate dessert heaven! My husband is helping me quickly scarf these down - so I know they are as good as gluten!

When I was traveling last week for my Oprah trip I came across a recipe in an airline magazine for PB&J Brownies. The chef, James Boyce, accidentally came up with the hit recipe by placing a brownie on a sheet of phyllo dough, topping the brownie with peanut butter, strawberry jam, and chocolate chips, and then wrapping it up and baking. Seeing his recipe was my inspiration for Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes. I think this recipe would be equally as good as a brownie batter cupcake.

·1 recipe of your favorite chocolate cupcake batter or brownie batter (I slightly modified my GF blogger adoption Black Bean Cupcake recipe - see below)
·Homemade strawberry jam (about ½ cup)
·¼ cup peanut butter
·1 cup powdered sugar
·1 TBS milk
·¼ tsp vanilla
·2 oz cream cheese

Follow the recipe for your favorite chocolate cupcake or brownie recipe. Preheat oven according to your recipe. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Fill muffin cups ¼ of the way up with cupcake batter. Then, add a spoonful (about ½ TBS) of jam into the center of the cupcake batter.

Finish filling the muffin cups with cupcake batter until muffin tins are filled about ¾ of the way up. Bake according to cupcake recipe directions.

Meanwhile, mix peanut butter, milk, and cream cheese. Slowly beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Adjust ingredients to get the right frosting texture and flavor you desire. Stir in vanilla. Frost PB&J cupcakes once cool.

Here's the center of my PB&J Cupcakes! I added way too much strawberry jam into some (about 1-2 TBS), which requires us to use a spoon to eat. Still delicious, nonetheless!

Black Bean Cupcakes Recipe
Adapted slightly from 18 Hour Kitchen

·1 ½ cups canned black beans
·3 eggs, separated
·1 TBS vanilla
·¾ cup sugar
·¼ cup cocoa powder
·½ tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350˚. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. In a blender, puree black beans, egg yolks, and vanilla until completely smooth. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until fluffy. In a medium brown, mix sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Add in black bean puree. Beat on low (or whisk) until all ingredients are completely combined. Fold in egg whites.

Pour into muffin tins filling about ¾ of the way up. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Frost with your favorite frosting. Makes 12 cupcakes.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Gluten-Free Blogger Adoption - Black Bean Cupcakes

I recently learned about "Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger," and this month I was excited to be adopted by Kelly at 18 Hour Kitchen. Honestly, I was shocked, excited, and truly honored to learn someone in blogger-world adopted me! I hadn't heard of Kelly's blog until she adopted me. So, I quickly checked it out and decided I was going to adopt Kelly in return. I love the recipes on her blog and was anxious to try a few.

I love flourless dessert recipes, so when I saw Kelly's recipe for Black Bean Cupcakes I knew this was the recipe I just had to try. You can visit Kelly's blog - 18 Hour Kitchen - by clicking here for her Black Bean Cupcake recipe.
I only made one modification - since I'm not sugar-free, I used regular sugar. I frosted my cupcakes with chocolate cocoa frosting, and let me tell you these cupcakes are SO rich, moist, delicious, and chocolaty. I was hesitant to bake with black beans, but you can't even taste them! They even passed my as good as gluten test - my husband said they were good!

Unfortunately, my cupcakes sunk in the middle. I think this is because I either whisked the batter too long or didn't cook them long enough. But, there is a silver lining to sunk cupcakes! It makes a nice little pool where you can add even more frosting! Who doesn't love extra frosting?!

Have you ever baked with black beans? If so, how did your dessert turn out?
In case you're wondering, what is Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger? Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger, hosted this month by Lexie's Kitchen, is a monthly online event where you adopt a GF blogger who's recipes you'd like to try, try one of her recipes, and then blog about it.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chipotle Mac & Cheese

Wow - this savory Chipotle Mac & Cheese dish is delicious and packed with flavor!! I was inspired to create this dish when I read a post at Serious Eats. It was super easy to make on the stovetop. The chipotle puree adds just a small savory and spicy kick. If you like it spicy, you can definitely add-up to 1 TBS of chipotle puree. I kept it on the lighter side since Mike isn't a fan of really spicy dishes.

·½ lb GF brown rice elbow noodles
·2 TBS butter
·½ small red onion, chopped
·6 oz evaporated milk
·2 tsp chipotle purée
·10 – 15 baby carrots, steamed and puréed
·1 tsp mustard
·Salt and pepper
·2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Cook pasta noodles according to package directions. Drain and reserve.

In a large pot, melt butter and cook onion until tender. Reserve mixture in a small bowl. In the same pot, heat milk and chipotle purée over medium-high heat until boiling. Add butter and onion mixture, carrot purée, mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk and heat over medium heat 2-3 minutes. Add pasta and cheese. Heat over medium-low heat until cheese is melted.

Cook time: 20 minutes start-to-finish

Notes: For the chipotle purée, use this tip from Rachael Ray: remove the seeds from the peppers and then purée the peppers and all of the liquid from a can of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce. Freeze the chipotle puéee in a freezer bag, then break off a piece each time a recipe calls for it.

I've also shared this recipe on: Seasonal Sundays

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Oprah, Oprah, OPRAH!!

I'm back from an absolutely wonderful trip to LA with my mom! I won tickets to Oprah's Ultimate After-Oscar Party 2011 and am finally able to check "Go to the Oprah show" off my bucket list. Oprah's show at The Kodak Theatre in Hollywood was seriously awesome, awesome, AWESOME!! There was so much energy and excitement in the room. There were quite a few celebrity guests and Oscar winners on the show, but I especially loved Anne Hathaway's segment and Katy Perry's surprise performance - and, of course, OPRAH! 

Being from the snowy and cold midwest, we enjoyed soaking up the sun and the warm weather. 

We also had no problem finding gluten-free dining options in the LA area. Every single meal we ate was fantastic! I have to share one dinner we had with you; it is the best GF pizza we've had so far in our GF journey.
This is Pizza Fusion's Four Cheese & Sundried Tomato Gluten-Free Pizza. Thin and crispy gluten-free crust topped with tomato sauce, goat cheese, mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic, and fresh basil. YUM and definitely as good as gluten! In addition to the amazing GF pizza, what I love about Pizza Fusion is that they use healthy organic ingredients and are committed to operating a sustainable business. The also have GF brownies and multiple GF beer choices. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for other Pizza Fusion locations in my travels.