Monthly Archives: April 2011

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies w/Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut

Whether or not you celebrated Easter this past Sunday, I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful weekend with friends and family!

This weekend was great! I spent a lot of quality time with my family, ate lots of good food (and way too many jelly beans!), colored Easter eggs, and made all sorts of delicious gluten free cookies!

My Easter Cookie Platter- IMMACULATE Chocolate Chunk, Almond Butter and White Chocolate Chip, & Almond Butter w/ Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut Cookies... YUM! 🙂

I started off with gluten free chocolate chip cookies.  IMMACULATE BAKING CO. makes my absolute favorite gluten free cookie dough.  Their Jumbo Chocolate Chunk cookies are super easy and come ready-to-bake.  Just take them out of the fridge, break apart, and stick on a pan!  One package will make a dozen cookies in less than 20 minutes.  These cookies are incredibly soft and chewy, and they taste just like a chocolate chip cookie should!  They do not flatten out like cookies traditionally do after when in the oven, but form a round plump cookie instead. Personally I liked them like that, but if you prefer something thinner just flatten out the dough a little before baking.

Chocolate Chip w/ IMMACULATE BAKING CO. Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough

IMMACULATE BAKING CO. Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough can be found in the refrigerated section in most natural food markets.  I did not have any luck finding this product at my local Shaw’s, Hannaford, or Stop and Shop supermarkets, however, I have noticed it appearing on shelves at several Market Baskets in my area.

The second batch of cookies I made were sort of an experiment.  Using an old recipe given to me for flourless peanut butter cookies I decided to try to make my own flourless almond butter cookies with white chocolate chips (see recipe below- add 1 cup of white chocolate chips/ without chocolate ganache and coconut).  The first tray of cookies I made were not the best, but then I realized I forgot the baking powder… Oops!  The second tray came out pretty good, but I still wasn’t satisfied.  I knew I could do much better…

For the final batch of cookies I decided the white chocolate needed to go.  Instead I made an all almond butter cookie.  Then to add some PIZAZZ, I stirred up a chocolate ganache and toasted shredded coconut in my toaster oven.  When my almond butter cookies were baked and completely cooled I drizzled the chocolate ganache over half of each almond butter cookie and topped each one with the toasted coconut.  Finally a creation I could be proud of! 🙂   Check out my recipe (below) and let me know what you think!

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies w/Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut

Gluten Free

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies w/Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Coconut


Ingredients

(Cookies)

2 cups of creamy Almond Butter

2 cups light brown sugar packed

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons of baking soda

(Chocolate Ganache)

½ cup heavy cream

1 cup of chocolate chips

¾ cup shredded coconut, toasted

Directions

(Cookies)

1) Preheat oven to 350°F

2) Mix together almond butter, light brown sugar, eggs and baking soda in a large bowl until smooth.

3) Drop oversized tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheet for 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned (depending on how large you make them).

4) Place cookies on wire racks and allow to cool completely.

5) Meanwhile, toast coconut in warmed oven or toaster oven until browned.

(Ganache)

1) In a medium sized glass bowl microwave cream on high for 1 minute.

2) Add chocolate chips and let sit for 2 minutes. Then stir chocolate until mixture is smooth.

3) When cookies have been cooled, spread half the melted chocolate over half of each cookie. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

4) Let set at room temperature.

And just for fun I thought I would add some photos of us coloring our Easter eggs. 🙂  Jasper decided he was going to help too!

Our bright and colorful eggs (too bad we broke one)!

Trying to get creative with the pink!

Very interested in Luke's blue egg!

My handsome guy 🙂

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Filed under Delectably Sweet, Eat-Drink-Review, Fast from the Freezer, Jamie's Favorites

Learn to Cook Gluten Free!

Have a loved one, friend, family member, co-worker, or teammate following a gluten free diet?  Then its definitely time to learn to cook some gluten free recipes so they have some more choices at your next gathering!

For all you NH people out there, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Nashua, NH will be holding a gluten free cooking class on Wednesday, May 18th from 6pm- 7:30pm. For only $10 you can learn how to prepare a variety of recipes using different gluten free grains! I suggest you check it out!

For more information visit: http://www.stjosephhospital.com/News/PR/2/22/11/Gluten-Free

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Filed under In the News, Raising Awareness

Stepping into Spring with Gluten Free Pasta

Delicious pasta recipes can easily be turned into yummy gluten free dishes. This past Monday night was Luke’s turn to make dinner.  Worried that we needed to use up the spring onions and mushrooms in the fridge,  I tossed Luke one of my cooking magazines, hoping he would look at some of the pasta recipes and come up with something good.

At first I was worried, watching him look at the spring onion’s large bulbs and hollow green leaves with a puzzled look on his face. “Jame, what part do we eat?” he asked.  Amused, and not quite sure myself I told him to just guess.  I use green onions all the time in my recipes, but this was the first time I ever purchased the similar but extra-large spring onion. Plus I really wanted him to do this on his own!

After Luke got started our kitchen smelled amazing.  Nothing is better than the smell of onions and garlic!  After about 40 minutes , Luke put a plate of my gluten free fusilli pasta in front of me.  It was mixed with caramelized spring onions (yes, he figured them out!), sautéed mushrooms, garlic, vegetable broth, and white wine.  The best part was that it was topped  with gluten free breadcrumbs that had been browned in the oven with garlic.

Let’s just say I am still craving more of this yummy pasta!  This dish was so good and full of flavor, you could not even tell he used gluten free pasta!  I am actually thinking about making this again on Sunday to take to my family as a side dish for Easter!

GF Fusilli with Carmelized Spring Onions and Mushrooms

Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Ingredients

1/2 cup of gluten free breadcrumbs

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups of spring onion, sliced thin

4 white mushrooms

1/2 cup dry vermouth

1/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth (Pacific Natural Food’s Low Sodium Organic Vegetable Broth once again is my fav!)

8 oz package of gluten free pasta (I used Bionaturae Gluten Free Fusilli)

1/4 teaspoon pepper

salt (if desired)

Directions

1) Preheat over to 375 °

2) In a small bowl combine the gluten free breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  When mixed spread on a cookie sheet and bake until browned (between 5-7 minutes).  Hold aside.

3) Heat remaining olive oil (2 tbs.) in a pan on medium-low heat.  Add onions and let cook for 25 minutes. When there is only 10 minutes left add mushrooms.

4) Meanwhile, cook gluten free pasta according to package directions.

5) After onion and mushroom mixture has cooked for 25 minutes increase heat to medium-high.  Add remaining garlic (1 tbs.) and dry vermouth and cook for 1 minute. Next add vegetable broth and cook for 4-5 minutes.

6) Combine cooked pasta with the onion and mushroom mixture. Season with salt and pepper and top with breadcrumbs.

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Filed under Jamie's Favorites, Just Plain Good, Luke Cooks G-Free!, Sensational Sides

Sunday Morning Happiness

Gluten Free Coffee Cake Muffins

Gluten Free

This morning while flipping through Eating Well Magazine I came across the most delicious looking Coffee-Streusel Bundt Cake (non-gluten free of course).  It reminded me how much I LOVE coffee cake muffins, and I haven’t had one in years!  I decided it was time to make my own version of this delicious treat!

For me baking can be difficult.  Unlike cooking you need to be exact with measurements.  Just one mistake can leave you with an awful product.  To make things a little easier on myself and save some time I decided to use Gluten Free Pantry’s Muffin and Scone Mix.  I prepared the mix like the box said, but added an additional 1 teaspoon of cinnamon for extra flavor.  I then prepared the crumbly filling and coffee glaze very similar to Eating Well’s Coffee- Streusel Bundt Cake recipe.  Substituting the all-purpose flour for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour and making sure to use a gluten free vanilla extract.  This recipe turned out to be really easy, and the final product came out EXCELLENT! It definitely fulfilled my coffee cake muffin craving!

Ingredients


Muffin Mix

1 box Gluten Free Pantry’s Muffin and Scone Mix

6 tablespoons softened butter

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon of gluten free vanilla extract

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon cinnamon (additional to box mix directions)

Streusel- the crumble filling in the middle of the muffin

3 tablespoons of gluten free all purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour)

3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons of chopped hazelnuts

1 tablespoon of melted butter

Coffee Glaze Topping

1/2 cup of confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon of  instant expresso (dry)

2 tablespoons of brewed hazelnut coffee

chopped hazelnuts to sprinkle on top

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 375 F

2) Prepare muffin batter according to package directions.  Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to mix.  Hold aside.

3) Mix gluten free flour, dark brown sugar, hazelnuts, espresso powder, and melted butter in a small bowl.  This should make a crumbly mixture.

4) Fill muffin tray half way with muffin batter. Spoon a layer streusel filling. Then fill the rest of the tray with muffin batter.  If desired sprinkle a thin layer of streusel on top (I did this with half the muffins).

5) Bake muffins for 15-18 minutes (until lightly brown and cooked all the way through).

6) Meanwhile, prepare coffee glaze topping.  Mix confectioners sugar, instant espresso, and hazelnut coffee. If mixture is too runny add more sugar, if too thin add more coffee.

7) Drizzle coffee glaze over cooled muffins. Top muffins with chopped hazelnuts.

Mmmm... perfect breakfast!

Now it’s time to go enjoy this beautiful Sunday!  Off to the outlets with my love to pick up some new running sneaks as an early birthday present!  Hooray!! 😉

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Filed under Delectably Sweet, Jamie's Favorites, Just Plain Good

There’s a whole new world of gluten free pizza out there!

The most common thing I hear when someone is just starting on a gluten free diet is “I just wish I could have some pizza!”.  For me, pizza was BY FAR the hardest thing to give up.  Sure, when I started on my wheat free diet gluten free pizza existed, but it was not easy to find, and many of the products that I tried just weren’t any good!  But now more and more companies and restaurants are becoming aware, and getting on board with gluten free products and offerings.  I am happy to say there is a whole new world of gluten free pizza out there!

Here are a couple of my pizza favorites!…

My favorite way to make pizza at home- Rustic Crust Napoli Herb Gluten Free Pizza Crust

The Rustic Crust Napoli Herb is my new “go to” crust when I want to make a delicious pizza in a hurry.  This all natural crust is wheat/gluten free and dairy free.  Unlike other brands, this one comes in a sealed package instead of in the frozen food aisle.  I love the fact that this product is not frozen!  It makes me feel as though I am eating something more fresh (and I probably am!).  The only downside to not having a frozen pizza crust was that it is a lot more crumbly, but only before putting it in the oven, so I recommend you just be careful when taking it out of the packaging so it doesn’t break.  Once the pizza is fully cooked, the crust holds together well, the edges are nice and crispy, and the middle is thin but still moist.  Thin gluten free pizza is a good thing, if a crust is too thick it often tastes less like a “regular pizza” and more “bready”.  The best part about this crust is the taste!  Unlike other crusts I have tried, the Rustic Crust Napoli Herb is blended with spices and herbs, which definitely adds extra flavor to my pizza!

I buy Rustic Crust Napoli Herb Crust at Hannaford’s Supermarket in the gluten free section of the natural food aisle.  It’s usually right next to all of the gluten free pasta.  Check out the Rustic Crust website, you can look up where to find this product near you or even buy it online!

The last pizza I made on Rustic Crust was a combination of things I already had in my kitchen; Mushrooms, Peppers, onions, pineapple, and pumpkin seeds!  It was quick, really easy, and there was no mess like when making your own dough.  I often make this when I want something quick when I get home from work.  It’s usually done in less than 30 minutes (including prep time!).

Mmmm…makes me wish I had leftovers for lunch today! 😉

Rustic Crust Napoli Herb Gluten Free Pizza Crust (before baking)

Veggie and Pineapple Pizza on Rustic Crust Napoli Herb Crust!

 

My favorite pizza restaurantPortland Pie Co.

Portland Pie Co. has changed my life! Ok that may be going a little too far, but it definitely has brought the traditional pizza and a movie date night experience back into Luke and my lives.  Not only does this restaurant have incredible pizza, THEY DELIVER!  I absolutely love the fact that Luke and I can stay in an order pizza like a normal couple. Portland Pie Co. is a newer edition to downtown Manchester.  They also have locations in Portland, Scarborough, and Westbrook Maine.

The large menu includes over 16 different pizzas, with the option to build your own.  The gluten free pizza is available as a 10” personal pizza and the price ranges from $9.49- $11.49 (totally worth it!).  They use a special gluten free sauce and have the option to add a gluten free/vegan cheese for those who choose not to or cannot consume dairy products.

My favorite pizza (below) is the “Old Orchard”.  I get this on the gluten free crust, with gluten free sauce.  The “Old Orchard” is a vegetarian pizza that comes with green peppers, fire roasted red peppers, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, fresh garlic, three cheese blend, and crushed red pepper.  My only tip is that you order this a little well done, all the toppings tend to weigh it down otherwise!

The “Old Orchard” at Portland Pie Co.

What’s your favorite gluten free pizza?

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Filed under Eat-Drink-Review, Jamie's Favorites