Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts

Sunday, September 16, 2012

GFCF Chocolate Zucchini Snack Cake

 This is our new family favorite, and apparently the dog's favorite, too, since we came home to an empty 9x12 pan the first time I made it. She went to the trouble of taking it off the counter and removing the lid from the pan, so it must be worth the effort!

It was based on my carrot cake recipe, but with some modifications to make it a bit healthier, so I can call it a snack and eat it more often. It's easy peasy to make, and puts all of that zucchini to good use if you are sick of zucchini bread.


1 1/2 cups organic sugar

1 cup coconut or sunflower oil

4 organic eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups grated zucchini

3 cups Bob's All Purpose gluten free four (or your preferred mix)

1/4 cup raw cocoa powder (of course you can use regular, but the raw has more minerals and iron)

1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp gluten free baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 bag of  chocolate chips (CF for those making this dairy free)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the sugar and oil. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl, and wisk to mix. Add the zucchini and flour mixture, a cup at a time, alternating each and mixing well. Add chocolate chips and stir. Pour into a greased and floured 9x12 pan (use cocoa for the flour and you won't get white specks on your cake) and bake for around 35 minutes. Use a toothpick to test.

I don't frost it, but you could dust it with powdered sugar, or frost if you are going for a traditional cake. I skip the extra sugar so I can eat extra cake!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Best Gluten Free Waffles (really!)

Breakfast is our favorite meal; we like it so much, we not only have it every morning, we also have it on Friday evenings! We call it backwards night, and it evolved when pizza Fridays became less desirable after going both gluten and dairy free. Our favorite breakfast food? Waffles, of course! It took a lot of tinkering to come up with a recipe that was both gluten and dairy free but tasted like a normal waffle. We make this recipe so often that I keep a mix of the flours in a jar in the pantry, speeding up the whole baking process. Want to try it?

3 cups white rice flour
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
3/4 cups corn flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour

3 eggs, separated
1 3/4 cups rice or coconut milk (or soy, or almond, or even the real thing)
4 TBS. melted Earth Balance spread
1 TB baking powder (make sure it says gluten free!)
1 TB sugar
pinch of salt

Beat the egg whites. While they are beating, combine 2 cups mix with the ingredients listed above (yes, include the yolks). Gently fold in the egg whites. Spoon into hot waffle iron and bake until golden and crispy on the outside.

I have found that rice milk makes a thinner, crisper waffle and coconut milk makes a softer, fluffier one. I like them both. I have not used the other milks, since we are allergic to them, but I'm sure they would work just as well. these taste so much like a wheat based waffle, if you fed them to your family without telling them, they would never know the difference! I have tried many other recipes, some with a higher ratio of more protein or fiber filled flours, but they would usually come out heavy, or with that particular gluten free flour after taste. Not this one! If you try it, I'd love to hear what you think!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Dried Cherries

We went cherry picking earlier this week, and brought home over 10 pounds! Three days later we are down to less than half that amount, but some of that box ended up in my dehydrator. I invested in one last summer, since Max is so limited in his snack choices, and now is the season it seems to keep a permanent place on my counter. I own this stacking tray style, and it has worked just fine. Some day I might trade up for an Excalibur, but at the time I wasn't interested in spending that much money.

If you are going to dry cherries (or cook with them, for that matter), you need a cherry pitter. I think I spent $12 on mine, and it was well worth the money! Of course, if you are going to dry cherries, you need to pit them, first. I like to do this at the table with a movie playing  on the iPad. It's repetitive work, my friends.

When you are done, you'll have a nice big bowl of pits.
And a big bowl of pitted cherries! You will need to cut them in half for drying, but since the pitting tends to split them a bit, I find it easiest to just tear them with my hands.
Lay them on you trays, with space between for the air to flow. Mine took about 16 hours to dry at 145 degrees.
They are shriveled when done, but not crispy. They should have a similar consistency to raisins. If you are not sure, stick them in a glass jar with a tight lid for a couple of days. If you see any condensation form, throw them back into the dehydrator for another few hours.
Easy, wasn't it? We like ours in granola (my GF recipe is here), in oatmeal or chocolate cookies, on cereal, or just straight out of the jar for snacking!

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's that time of year... for colds!

Yes, the cold bug has hit our house, so I thought I would share a few of our favorite herbal tea mixes, which have been getting a lot of play around here in the last few days. These would also make great gifts, presented with a tea strainer or holiday tea towel.  Of course, I'm no doctor, but these blends have helped soothe throats and chests and nerves around these parts. I don't have a good local source, so I purchase all of my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs, Starwest Botanicals, and The Bulk Herb Store.

 Cold and Flu Tea
Mix 1 part elder flowers (good for colds, flu and fever) with one part marshmallow root (cough expectorant and the kids like the flavor). Steep for 3 - 5 minutes and sweeten with honey (also good for coughs). These are both soft herbs, so don't let them steep too long or they'll get a bitter taste.

Cough Tea (especially good for calming dry, barking and asthma coughs)
Mix two parts red clover to a scant one part licorice root. Peel and slice a small piece of fresh ginger, and add to tea cup or small pot. Add a teaspoon of the herbs and steep for 3 - 5 minutes (if making this for kids, check after 3 minutes. The ginger and licorice can become too strong if steeped for a long time). Strain into a new cup and add a teaspoon of honey.
Note: licorice should not be used continuously for a long period of time, and never for people with high blood pressure

Relaxation Tea (for those care givers!)
In a mason jar combine two parts peppermint, two parts chamomile, one parts lemon balm, ginkgo, St. John's wort, and licorice. Add dried orange peels (I save orange peels in a jar in the fridge and then dry them in my dehydrator to add to teas).  Steep for five minutes and sweeten to taste.

Wishing you and your family good health this season!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sunday waffles on a Tuesday

Well, it is the season to indulge, isn't it? I made a double batch of my favorite GF waffles on Sunday, and froze the extras. For a school day treat, I simply toasted a few waffles, and while they were warming, heated a thinly sliced green apple in the microwave for 2 minutes. A little butter, cinnamon sugar and whipped cream (also left-over) equals a very happy morning!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Crunchy Granola Mom

Yes, now I am officially a crunchy granola mom, and it's a mighty tasty thing to be.  We have been making this quick but oh so good granola at least three times a week lately. It takes about 20 minutes from start to finish, and it's so easy the kids can pitch in (or even make it, depending on their age). The amounts listed here are just guidelines. I don't actually measure anything when I make it, so feel free to improvise! This can be either a gluten-free or regular granola, depending on the oats you use (please note that some Celiacs cannot tolerate gluten free oats. Fortunately, we can). If you are using regular oats, it's a very frugal granola. Even if you have to buy the pricey gluten free oats, it's still cheaper than GF granola. has a good price on gluten free oats, by the way.

Family Favorite Granola

2 cups oats
1/4 cup pecans
1/3 cup dried cranberries (you could also use raisins)
1/8 cup flaxseed meal (you could use whole flaxseeds, but I always have the ground flaxseeds on hand)
1/4 - 1/3 cup mixture of brown rice syrup and honey (or you could use all honey)
1 Tbs. cinnamon
1 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

Mix everything together in a bowl. You want it to stick together but not appear wet or really moist. Spread on a silpat lined cookie sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Let it cool. As it cools, it will stick together. Break up the cooled clumps and store in airtight jars. I really can't tell you the shelf life, because it never lasts more than two days around here.

This is really one of those recipes where you can use whatever is in the pantry. We came up with this particular combination because nobody here is allergic to pecans or cranberries, and it happens to taste great! Try it mixed with yogurt Saturday morning or over ice cream. Or do as my family does, and eat it off the cookie sheet on the counter!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ice Cream for Breakfast

Yes, they did have ice cream for breakfast this morning, even with a few jellybeans or chocolate chips on top. It is almost the end of our summer here, so you have to enjoy it while it lasts, right? Here in allergy house, our ice cream is more coconut cream, but fabulous nonetheless. It's such a simple and actually pretty healthy recipe (minus the jellybeans, of course), that I thought I'd share it with you.

Coconut Ice Cream:

1 can unsweetened coconut milk (not the light version)
approx. 3 cups cold vanilla coconut milk (the kind in the carton)
1/4 - 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice (sugar)
1-2 tsp. vanilla
freshly grated nutmeg

In a 4 cup measuring cup, add one can coconut milk. Add enough vanilla coconut milk to make 4 cups. Stir in sugar to taste (the coconut milk is pretty sweet, so you don't need too much), vanilla, and nutmeg. I guess I grate around a teaspoon - I've never measured. Pour into ice cream maker. It should be ready in 20 - 30 minutes.

I have an electric ice cream maker that I received as a gift many years ago and I LOVE it! You have fresh soft serve ice cream in less than 30 minutes with hardly any work. I highly recommend one.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dr. Mom

Ah, summer - sprinklers, gardening, trips to the beach... and rashes and bug bites. This itch relieving tincture has been getting a lot of use around here lately, so I thought I'd share the super simple recipe with you.

Vodka (any cheap kind will do)

Fill a glass jar 3/4 full with equal portions of the herbs. Add vodka to cover herbs completely and cap jar. Let steep in a dark cupboard for a minimum of two weeks, but I like to go for four. Shake daily, if you remember. If not, it still works. Strain tincture into a clean glass bottle. This is a tincture (extraction through alcohol), so DON'T use on scraped or broken skin (ow!), but it's fabulous on heat rashes and bug bites.  I keep it in the fridge, because the cold also helps soothe itchy skin.

For broken or scraped skin, mash up dried (or fresh, if you have it) plantain with a little water, then put a glob of it on your cut. Cover with a damp cloth and leave on for about 10 minutes.

For my latest tincture, I also added mallow root to the mix. I buy most of my herbs through Mountain Rose Herbs or Starwest Botanicals, and both are fabulous companies.  You can also steep the herbs in olive oil to use in lotions or simply apply the oil. Oils should steep for at least six weeks.  Easy, frugal, good for the Earth, and it works!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I had a tub of cream cheese in the fridge, but I can't eat bagels anymore. Not one to be wasteful, I decided to make a batch of cream cheese frosting. If you have frosting, you have to have something to spread it on, so I made a batch of carrot cake cupcakes, too. I absolutely love carrot cake - anything with nutmeg and cinnamon is always tops on my list. Now it can be tops on yours, too, because here is my absolutely bestest carrot cake recipe ever. It is gluten free, but you should be able to substitute wheat flour (leaving out the xanthum gum) and get equally good results. Warning - this is a full on dessert recipe - no applesauce to replace fats here. They do freeze well, though, so you can eat a few and freeze the rest! Or you could do like I do and eat three in one day. Each meal deserves it's own dessert, don't you think?

GF Carrot Cake

3 cups organic brown sugar (I make my own by mixing molassas with evaporated cane juice, the fancy name for white sugar that has not been processed with chemicals)

1 cup coconut oil (adds richness and it's good for you!)

4 organic eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups grated carrots

3 cups Bob's All Purpose gluten free four (or your preferred mix)

1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (it makes a big difference in all of your baking baby, so if you don't have a nutmeg or microplane grater, go get one)

1 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp gluten free baking powder

1 tsp salt

Cream the sugar and oil. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl, and wisk to mix. Add the carrots and flour mixture, a cup at a time, alternating each and mixing well. Use an ice cream scoop to fill 22-24 paper lined muffin cups, and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Use a toothpick to test.

I wish I had such a refined recipe for the frosting, but I really don't measure much when I make it. Generally, I cream one stick of butter with 6-8 ounces of cream cheese. I add vanilla, usually two teaspoons, then I beat in about 3-4 cups of sifted organic powdered sugar until I get the consistency I want. However, there are two musts for all of my frostings: you must use a good butter, not the store brand. There is a difference. From my local supermarket I like Danish Creamery. Also, organic powdered sugar tastes superior. My local Trader Joe's stopped carrying it, so I shelled out the $5 for a pack at my grocery store. Then I read on-line that I could have made my own by whirling my $2.99 bag of organic evaporated cane juice (ie sugar) in the blender for a few minutes. Guess what I'm doing when this $5 bag runs out?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pizza Fridays

Pizza Fridays have been a long standing tradition in our house. When we went gluten free, I didn't know if that tradition would continue. Premade GF crusts are tasteless, I wasn't impressed with the mixes, so I have been experimenting  with making my own. I used to make the regular dough, and quite honestly, GF dough is actually easier! This is our favorite recipe so far, which is based on the recipe on the back of the Bob's Red Mill bean flour package.

For an extra large thin crust pizza:

2 Tbs yeast
2/3 cup bean flour
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
4 Tbs dry milk
4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp onion powder
1 1/3 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp cider vinegar

In a mixing bowl, combine yeast through onion powder, whisking to combine. Add water, oil sugar and cider, and beat on high for 3 minutes. Spoon into pizza pan, sprinkle with four, and smooth to edges. Pre-bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Add light sauce, cheese and toppings, then bake for 10-12 more minutes.

Enjoy with GF beer, of course!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alien Bread

Well, they are not really from space, but that's what the kids call these drop biscuits.  They are cheesy, crispy and wonderful, even if you are not gluten free. The best part, in my opinion, is the garlic butter that gets brushed on top. Heaven. As I've mentioned before, GF food bloggers have been my saviors since going gluten free, and the recipe came from one of my favorites, GFE (Gluten Free Easily). She's actually having a fantastic giveaway right now, which you can enter here. Maybe I'll have a few biscuits with lunch - did I mention that they freeze beautifully?

Monday, April 6, 2009

A little bit of this and that

Not much art happening around here lately - more painting the grout in the kitchen, taking the kids to OT, reading about food allergies and nutrition and trying to plan Easter and Max's birthday. I did get a wonderful package in the mail yesterday, all the way from Tasmania:

It was from my blog friend, Sharmaine,, who whips together these amazing, to die for layouts every day! I am in awe. Having these new goodies is making me itch to get back to my table, and the kids were thrilled to have chocolate cookies all the way from Australia. They have a particular fascination with the country, and at least once a day will ask me what the people in Australia are doing at the moment. They are fascinated by the time difference. Thanks, Sharmaine!!

Now that we are paying for two private OT sessions a week, I have taken a renewed interest in budgeting. Through Ali's site I found, and have spent a few nights exploring the current and many past posts. Recently she posted her dinner menu for the entire month of April, and it intrigued me. I usually meal plan only a week at a time, and loosely. She themes each nights (ie - pasta on Mondays, stir-fry Tuesdays) which I immediately stole. Max has had such a difficult time with dinners and transitions lately, so this seemed like a great way to address both. Since a few Facebook friends have asked, here is our menu for the month:

Mondays - pasta
Tuesdays - Mexican
Wednesdays - chicken
Thursdays - soup/salad/sandwiches
Friday - pizza
Saturday - pork or beef
Sunday - leftovers

April's Menu (with links to on-line recipes)
6 - spaghetti
7 - soft tacos or beef fajitas
8 - BBQ chicken with my special sauce
9 - grilled cheese and salad
10- pizza (trying Bob's Red Mill gluten free mix)
11 - flank steak and rice
12 - Easter dinner - ham
13 - zucchini pasta carbonara (I made a light version and it was still super good!)
14 - chicken and summer veggie tostadas
15 - honey glazed chicken stir fry
16 - chicken noodle soup and salad (my concoction)
17 - pizza
18 - maple pecan pork chops and apple hash browns
19 - left overs
20 - Max's birthday choice
21 - nachos
22 - BBQ chicken again (Matt's favorite)
23 - grilled turkey or ham sandwiches
24 - pizza
25 - beef and veggie stir-fry over rice
26 - left overs
27 - chicken fettuccine
28 - tacos
29 - crock pot Italian chicken
30 - left-over chicken sandwiches with artichoke hearts and feta

It is very SPD friendly and kid friendly, but it works for me. I keep the list in a binder that has my iCal print-out for the month, household stuff from Fly Lady, budget info and plans for any home/family thing I'm working on for the month (like Max's party). This way I have everything for the house in one place. A big shout-out to for the idea, as well as several of the recipes. You should go check it out now - not only is it a great site, but she's having a Croc give-away. And the spring Crocs are actually cute. Cute enough that, fashionista snob that I am, would actually wear them! Go take a look here!