Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

I generally try to keep my breakfast muffins, scones and breads a little on the “healthy.” I try to make them low in sugar and filled with whole-grainy fiber. For new year’s day though, I did not.  This bread chocolate chips make it a great treat for any meal of the day.

Because they are generally moist and packed with flavor, quick breads are great when made with gluten free flour. I found this recipe on Gluten Free on a Shoe String and it is so so good.

http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/chocolate-chip-zucchini-bread/

Blackberry Marscarpone Spice Cake


Blackberry Marscarpone SPice Cake

At first glance, you might think I left something out? I didn’t make enough icing? I forgot how to ice a cake? Nope this is exactly as the cake is supposed to be. It did not turn out perfectly the way Martha Stewart’s Sugar- and Spice cake,  but it definitely TASTED perfect.  The combination of spice cake, marscarpone whipped cream, and black berry jam was so so good.  This is definitely a cake and flavor combination I plan to use in the future, but next time I think I will  turn this into a trifle- either placing the layers in one big bowl or cutting the spice cake into smaller rounds and layering it in individual mason jars or glasses.

Blackberry Farm Griddle Cakes

Pancakes

Pancakes have always been a favorite of mine and consequently,  it has become something I am known for making at every holiday breakfast at my parents house.  When saw this gluten free pancake recipe gracing with the cover of Bon Appetite magazine, I knew it was worth a try. Check out the recipe here:  http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/blackberry-farm-griddle-cakes

These pancakes were awesome and a huge hit at thanksgiving!

 

A Unique Granola that’s worth a try

Granola

Though oats are completely gluten free—they often get a bad rap in the gluten free world because they are processed in the same plant as wheat. If you get certified gluten free oats though, they are a great grain to cook with {I like the gluten free oats by Trader Joes}. This recipe by Nigella Lawson caught my eye because of the use of a couple different seeds and the ginger. I also thought it was interesting that she used apple sauce. I had never seen this before, but the claim was that it would make the oats really crispy. I think it worked! This granola was delicious.  One other change I made was to use agave syrup instead of honey.  FYI: this recipe makes a HUGE batch so package a couple cups up and give it to friends!

4 ½ cups rolled oats

1 cup sunflower seeds

¾ cup white sesame seeds

¾ cup apple sauce (or apple compote)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¾ cup agave

¾ cup soft light brown sugar

2 cups whole natural almonds

1 teaspoon sea salt flakes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cups raisins

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients, except the raisins, in a large bowl. I used 2 large spatulas to get this stick concoctions completely mixed in.
  3. Spread the mixture out on 2 baking sheets.
  4. Bake in the oven for about 50 miunutes- or until nice and golden all over. Stir the oats a couple times during the baking to ensure an even toasting throughout.
  5. Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool complexly before tossing in the raisins.

 

 

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

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I have recently been on the search for the perfect “healthy” muffin that I can snack on for breakfast with out feeling like I have just had birthday cake for breakfast. This is NOT that muffin. This is your classic, all the way, over the top, indulgent blueberry muffin.

I think I’m starting to sound like a broken record when I say “you would never know this muffin is gluten free.” So I’m going to stop using that phrase. Instead, I’m just going to pronounce this an awesome blueberry muffin recipe (perfect for anyone avoiding gluten). These came out moist and delicious– just as you would expect from a blueberry muffin recipe. The yogurt and lemon give these muffins a zesty flavor that keeps you wanting more.

Enjoy!

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

INGREDIENTS

Muffin Batter:
2 1/4 cup Gluten Free All Purpose Mix (see Below)
heaping 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp loosely packed lemon zest
3 tsp lemon juice (wishing I had put more)
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 cup fresh blueberries

Muffin Topping:
3/4 cup GF all purpose mix
pinch of salt
3 TBSP brown sugar
1 TBSP granulated sugar
4 TBSP butter, softened

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Sift gluten free flour mix, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl and set aside.
3. Beat together the butter, eggs and sugar until light and creamy. Add in the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and Greek Yogurt. Gently fold in the dry ingredients- being sure not to over-mix.
4. Toss your blueberries with a pinch of the flour mixture and then gently fold them into the batter.
5. Scoop into prepared muffin pan or baking cups. { I used these decorative paper cups to make 6-8 large muffins. I think this batter would be enough for 12 regular sized muffins. Tip: The batter was pretty thick, so after scooping out the batter into the cups, wet your finger and smooth out the batter in the cups so that it is evenly distributed. This will ensure an even rise.}
6. In a separate bowl, use your hands to mix together your topping. This shouldn’t be too uniformly mixed, there should be clumps of butter. Place a heaping spoonful directly on top of each muffin- pressing down just a tiny bit.
7. Bake in a 350 degree oven. Large muffins take about 30 minutes, but regular sized will take about 15-20 minutes (test with a cake tester at about 15 min). The tops should be slightly golden and the topping is nice and crisp.

GLUTEN FREE ALL PURPOSE FLOUR MIX
(this will be enough for this recipe and you will have a little extra left over)

8.25 ounces brown rice flour, approximately 1 1/2 cups
8.25 ounces sorghum flour, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1.8 ounces cornstarch, approximately 6 TBSP
3/4 ounce tapioca flour, approximately 3 tablespoons
1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

Recent Dining Out Desserts

Macaron Cake, web large

A couple months ago I attended the Annual Houston Food Bank’s Chef Dinner.  Chefs from around Houston prepared dishes for this evenings 6 course dinner.  To my surprise, the dessert was gluten free. This Chocolate & Raspberry Mini Macaron “Cake” was made by the pastry chef of Olivette, Catherine Roderiguez. I loved the chocolate macaron and,of course, devoured the whole thing.

banana split

I don’t generally like banana’s, but when it’s the only dessert on the menu that’s gluten free, I make an exception. This banana split had vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and salted caramelized nuts. I avoided the banana (the one healthy item in the mason jar), but loved the rest of the salty-sweet dish. The mason jar was also a nice touch.

tea and macaron

I recently traveled to Vietnam with my sister on a whirlwind food tour of the country. The food was, in a word, amazing. The desserts were, in a word, strange.  The desserts generally had some type of green jelly layered under a non-descriptive custard-consistency goop. Needless to say, I avoided all of them. To my delight though, my favorite dessert,  French macarons, happened to be peppered throughout the country. This  was just one example that of the French influence that still remains in Vietnam from their time of occupation (from 1887-1940).   This photo is taken from high tea at our hotel in Hanoi… where the just gave away macarons for free! Best hotel ever, right??

Rice Krispie Ice Cream Sandwich

Rice Krispie Ice Cream Sandwiches

During the summer, ice cream desserts just seem to hit the spot. These Rice Krispie Ice Cream Sandwich couldn’t be easier and fun to make. Unfortunately, the first time I made these I didn’t allow enough time for the ice cream to harden so we just scooped it into bowls and ate it with a spoon. Even though they weren’t exactly “sandwiches”, the spooned out version was still delicious (can’t go wrong with toasted rice krispies, coconut, brown sugar, and butter).

RICE KRISPIE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

2 1/2 cups Gluten Free Rice Krispie Cereal
1 cups chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
3/4 cups brown sugar
8 tablespoons real butter (1 stick), melted
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened to the consistency of soft serve

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Line a 9×13 inch pan with foil, extending a little over the edges of pan.
  2. Place Rice Krispies, pecans, coconut, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl.  Drizzle melted butter over mixture and combine well.  Spread mixture out onto a sheet tray and toast until crispy and golden brown, stirring once or twice during cooking time.  Remove from oven and allow mixture to cool completely.
  3. Spread half of crispy mixture on the bottom of the 9 x 13 pan.  Gently spoon softened ice cream on top of mixture.  Use a spoon or a small offset spatula to spread the ice cream, being careful to not lift up crisp from bottom of pan.  Top ice cream with remaining crisp mixture.  Gently press top crisp into ice cream with hands.  Cover pan with plastic or foil and chill until firm (preferably overnight.)  When ready to serve, use foil to completely remove ice cream from pan and slice into squares.

Next time I think I’ll go a little more crisp and a slightly thinner ice cream section. Also, it would be fun to mix up the flavors; use walnuts instead of pecans, add a little maple syrup to the crisp, change up the ice cream flavor, add chocolate chips. So many possibility. Enjoy!