Gluten Free,Grain Free,Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been trying to eat less  grains these days, so I have been experimenting with almond flour. The almond flour I purchased at Bulk Barn is more a meal consistency which works for a cookie but may not translate for other baking needs. I haven’t found almond flour that resembles regular flour yet. It is on the expensive side for flours but worth it for the occasional treat.

The cookies have a coconuty texture and they taste really good.

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free, Grain Free)

Yield: 1 dozen large cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter plus 2 Tblsp, softened
  • 1/3 cup cane sugar (can substitute brown or white sugar)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnut pieces (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Using an electric mixer, mix together the butter, sugar in a large bowl until very creamy (like frosting). Add the vanilla and egg, mixing until well incorporated. Mix in the baking soda and salt. Then slowly mix in the blanched almond flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until well blended. Using a spoon, fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts, if using.
  2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about three-inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake approximately 11-12 minutes, or until golden brown around edges. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheet.

Review: Hamburger Buns by Suzie! (@SuziesGFK)

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I’m so happy I got to eat a burger last night. Its been many many months of “burger” night being bunless. Some buns I have tried are dry. Most fall apart. It was just better to eat the burg on its own.

BUT When we did our road trip to Suzie’s Gluten Free Kitchen we bought some hamburger buns and am I ever glad I did!

They are dense, but not heavy. They are a touch on the sweet side. They are NOT dry and on my goodness- they do not fall apart one bit!

I made cheeseburgers last night and It was the best dinner ever. I’m thinking I’ll have a leftover burger again tonight.

PS- I served the burgs with mixed greens tossed in my famous (not really) raw apple cider vinegar & honey dressing (I just mix 2 parts vinegar, 1 part olive oil, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1 tsp honey, salt & pep)

Suzie’s Gluten Free Kitchen makes amazing breads, buns, loaves, cakes, cookies, cinnamon rolls, english muffins etc. You can contact her through her site: http://suziesglutenfreekitchen.com/

Recipe: Chocolate Cake with Oreo Cream Cheese Frosting!

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Happy Monday!

Saturday it was my husbands birthday and we celebrated with his family last night. It was a delicious BBQ steak dinner, potatoes, beans and greek salad. Im so thankful they accommodate my gluten free-ness. To be honest, alot of meat and potatoes types of dinners already just happen to be gluten free- it’s great!

I baked a cake for dessert. You may or may not know, that I like to use a good gfree boxed cake mix and then make my own frostings and fillings. It makes things quick and easy and it still tastes homemade!

This time I used the Betty Crocker Devils Food Chocolate cake mix. Then made my own frosting. Here’s the recipe:

  • 8 oz block of cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar (i dont like my frosting to be insanely sweet, so this part is just a suggestion, add as much or little as you like)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup ground Glutino oreo cookies
  • cream or milk or dairy free milk (to thin out the icing)

Beat cream cheese and sugar and vanilla together until fluffy. Add icing sugar 1/4 cup at a time. Then use cream/milk/almond milk to thin out the icing until you are happy with the consistency.

Take about half of the Glutino oreo package and blend those up in a food processor until they are grounded up. Then mix that into the frosting and voila! Oreo cream cheese frosting!

 

Cheap and Easy

Here are some ideas for cheap and easy gluten free meals and snacks:

  • Baked  white potato or sweet  potato topped with butter, chives,  ground beef,  broccoli, cheddar cheese
  • Roasted peppers can be filled with rice, ground meat, spices, cheese
  • Rice and beans (both are cheap and can be bought in bulk)
  • Plain corn tortillas are gluten free. They’re cheap and can be filled with all sorts of stuff.
  • Apples, bananas, and celery with nut butter or with cheese
  • Salad with chicken or turkey, dried cherries or cranberries, walnuts, goat cheese, raspberry vinaigrette (check the label for gluten)
  • Cook a whole chicken in a crock pot or oven . Then use the carcass to make a chicken stock for pennies.
  • Any ground meat sauteed with any veggies of your choosing. Add chicken or beef stock to make it a soup, or add rice to stretch it out further.
  • Hamburger patties topped with cooked onion, bacon, cheese, mushrooms, laid on top of salad greens — no bun required
  • Pot roast in a crockpot — put the meat on top of a bed of onions, leave it on low all day and about an hour or two before dinner add in whatever veggies you like, such as potatoes, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, mushrooms. Choose an inexpensive cut like Outside or Inside Round.
  • Taco Salad: Season ground beef with cumin and chili pepper, add chopped tomatoes, avocado, cheese and sour cream all on top of lettuce greens or serve with corn chips.
  • Breakfast can be leftovers, or eggs served in various ways with bacon. Gluten Free Chex and Gluten Free Rice Crispies are two cereals that aren’t too expensive.
  • Smoothies are quick, try using canned coconut milk + frozen berries + cinnamon and sweetener of your choice.
  •  Tuna, salmon, sardines,  in a can. Serve over mixed greens and  chopped vegetables and salad dressing of your choice.

Recipe: Butter tarts!

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My dad loves butter tarts. I bake them a few times a year for him. The dough is always the biggest pain to make. But since going gluten free, the dough I make is super easy to make and work with. And at our Family Day brunch, most people preferred it to the regular kind (I made both)

So here’s the super simple recipe for the dough. You could use this same crust on a pie, or fill them with something other than butter tart goo (pie filling, cheesecake filling etc)

-1 1/2 cups white rice flour
-1/4 tsp baking powder
-1 tbs sugar
-pinch of salt
-1 large egg, beaten
-1/4 cup butter, melted
-cold water

Beat together the egg and melted  butter.
Sift together the dry ingredients over the beaten wet ingredients.
Stir the dough together. It will be soft and crumbly.
Add enough cold water so that the dough can be pressed together and holds.
Lightly oil the pie pan.
Press the dough into the pie pan and up the sides as far as possible being sure to keep the crust an even thickness. (I prefer my crust on the thin side)
Add desired filling and bake for 10-14 minutes at 400 degrees until the butter tart filling is bubbly and lightly browned. (If you need a prebaked shell just preheat the oven to 425 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes)

For the filling, this is the recipe that I use: (just mix everything together & pour into the tarts!)

-1 egg
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup corn syrup
-1 tablespoon melted butter
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 cup raisins (can be replaced with chopped pecans or walnuts but we are a raisin family)

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Dining: Valentines Tapas at August (@Augustresto)

Last Thursday was Valentines Day and to celebrate hubby & I went to August! (my parents did too actually, just a bit earlier than we did)

We’ve dined there many times before, its such a great place in Beamsville (where I grew up) and thought it would be fun to try the tapas! They do tapas on Tuesday and Thursday from 7-9pm. Its a GREAT menu too!

First things first, I’ve had tapas many times before at other restaurants, and Augusts’ portions sizes were VERY generous!

Now let’s get to the good stuff. What did we eat? Well…. here we go (pictures below)

I started with a caesar salad and the most wonderful “teenie tiny” sweet potato and apple soup. Hubby started with a caesar salad and mushroom feta bruschetta.

We shared a crab dip (i ate mine with cornbread). Then hubby had a texas shepherds pie- it was this awesome pulled pork topped with mac n cheese!

We both then had korean bbq short ribs, which probably was my favourite thing that night (besides dessert of course)

For dessert we shared some of Fabiola’s famous cheesecake (you can check out here blog Shamecake here) and a raspberry creme brulee. She always makes the cheesecakes gluten free- what a good woman.

My bestie (who I always ask for wine recommendations) suggested we go with a Kacaba Rebecca Rose- and it was fantastic! Great choice!

Fantastic Valentines Day! You should definitely check out August for tapas or their regular menu, and their weekend brunch is FABULOUS too!

Overnight Gluten Free Baked French Toast

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I had a Family Day brunch at my home yesterday.Three of us are gluten free so I needed to make an gluten free version of my usual Oven Baked French Toast.I used Suzies Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread that we purchased a few weeks ago on our road trip. The bread is denser than a regular bread and doesn’t absorb liquid as easily as its gluten counterpart but it turned out well. The non gluten eaters thought it was really good .I made a simple raspberry sauce to accompany it as well Canadian Maple syrup of course.

Overnight  Gluten Free Baked French Toast

Serves 3-4

5 slices Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread cubed

2/3 cup of Half and Half

2 eggs beaten

1 tsp cinnamon

½ cup cubed cream cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.Grease a small baking dish. Put cubed bread in baking dish. Mix beaten eggs with half and half. Pour over bread, making sure all bread is coated. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and dot with cream cheese. Put in fridge at least 2 hours before baking, preferably overnight. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes

Simple Raspberry Sauce

2 cups frozen raspberries

½ cup water

¾ cup sugar

Bring to a boil and stir. Turn down to medium and simmer until sauce thickens approximately 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Road Trip: Suzie’s Gluten Free Kitchen

My daughter and I went to see Suzie of Suzie’s Gluten Free Kitchen in Grimsby. Suzie asked us if we would like to try a product of our choosing and we gladly accepted.We were excited to taste her gluten free goodies so we selected the baguette and decided to also purchase,buns,french bread and cinnamon raisin bread.We headed up Sunday afternoon to pick up the goods.We were greeted by Suzie,a barn cat and the lovely smell of fresh baked bread.Suzie does all the baking in her family’s kitchen and is planning to build a dedicated gluten free kitchen in her home.

Back in the car  on the way home we couldn’t wait to sample the baguette.We tore off hunks and ate.It looks a like a baguette and it tastes like a baguette.If I didn’t know it was gluten free I would be hard pressed to tell the difference.We added butter to the bread when we arrived home and it sealed the deal for us.This is good bread. My daughter also brought a half of the baguette to her Family In Laws dinner last night and everyone agreed that it was a great accompaniment to the stew they were serving.

This morning I tried a slice of the french loaf, toasted with jam. Once again, a home run. It is a little denser than non gluten free bread but that is par for the course. I like that it is not holey like some other gf breads we have tried and it toasts up nicely. I will review the cinnamon raisin bread next weekend where I will use it in an Overnight French Toast recipe. If you are looking for really good gluten free bread and other goodies check out Suzie’s. http://suziesglutenfreekitchen.com/

Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Torte

choc torte

Tomorrow is Valentines Day. It’s also my parents wedding anniversary! Celebrating 32 awesome years. Love them!

Valentines Day tends to be a chocolate day. For me, everyday is a chocolate day. But I digress. (I’ve always wanted to say that, hope I used it correctly lol)

I wanted to post an easy, VERY satisfying and beautiful chocolate dessert that you could make tomorrow! (or any day!) It’s something I often bring to a dinner party because its simple but its a show stopper. And because its so rich, one cake can serve many (small slices)

I serve mine with a simple raspberry sauce but blackberry would be nice too.

This is the recipe that I always use. From allrecipes.com

Recipe makes 1 8-inch single layer cake

•    4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
•    1/2 cup butter
•    3/4 cup white sugar
•    1/2 cup cocoa powder
•    3 eggs, beaten
•    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
1.    Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease an 8 inch round cake pan & dust w/ cocoa
2.    In the top of a double boiler over lightly simmering water, melt chocolate and butter. Remove from heat, stir in sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan.
3.    Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Slices can also be reheated for 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave before serving. I prefer to serve mine chilled.

It’s Gluten Free Pancake Tuesday!

Today is Shrove Tuesday or more commonly known as Pancake Tuesday. It is the last day before Lent. Lent is a time of giving things up. So Pancake Tuesday is the last chance to indulge and to use up the foods that aren’t allowed in Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden during Lent. To me it is a good excuse to eat pancakes for dinner. Here is a gluten free pancake recipe to indulge in. Please serve with some local maple syrup. There is nothing better.

Rice Flour Pancakes

1 cup rice flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg – lightly beaten
1 cup of milk or almond milk
2 tsp oil or butter

Mix rice flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in bowl. Beat in milk until mixture has a smooth consistency. Add the beaten egg and oil and mix until just blended.
Add a little oil to griddle and cook on med heat. Turn only once. This is supposed to make 12 pancakes. Add chocolate chips for some extra decadence