With the weather being so cold lately and dealing with a lot of snow, I have been craving pancakes a lot lately. Snowy weather to me is pancake weather when it comes to breakfast. I have tinkered with several pancake recipes before hitting success with this one. Until now I never was able to make decent gluten free pancakes without a gluten free pancake mix. The flours I used for these pancakes I got from an Asian store near my house for about $1 per pound. Bob’s Red Mill also makes these flours as well as xanthan gum, which I used in these pancakes and use in most of my baked goods to help hold them together. These pancakes are great smaller or larger, but I prefer them larger since my mom always made hers larger and that is what I am used to with homemade pancakes.
Buttermilk Rice Pancakes – Makes 4 large pancakes or 8 regular sized pancakes (serves 2 to 3 people)
½ cup of rice flour
½ cup of sweet rice flour
2 teaspoons of sugar or sweetener (splenda and stevia will work in place of the sugar)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of xanthan gum
1 cup of buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, simply add a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk and leave it sit for a minute. Then stir milk and use as buttermilk).
2 teaspoons of canola oil
Cooking spray or canola oil for cooking pancakes
Mix rice flour, sweet rice flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum together in a large bowl.
Mix in buttermilk until the pancake mixture is smooth.
Mix canola oil, and egg together in a small bowl.
Add in the mixture from the small bowl into the large bowl and mix until everything is completely mixed together.
Add a little oil or cooking spray to the griddle and cook pancakes one by one on medium heat for 3-5 minutes per pancake, turning once halfway through. Watch them carefully, they cook quickly and don’t flip them too much. They will end up flatter if you do.
With the cold weather continuing and the holiday season being over, I have been trying to eat healthier and have also been getting tired of winter. This smoothie was my temporarily getaway from winter this morning. As someone that was born in the Spring, once the holidays are over, I look forward to Spring and wish for the rest of winter to be gone. Since fresh berries are very expensive in the winter and aren’t very fresh, I used frozen berries and milk in this smoothie. Frozen berries are often cheaper this time a year, I get mine from Trader Joe’s. I also used vanilla protein powder to give it the “cream” effect and to make me full longer. Just be sure to check the protein powder you buy for gluten, some brands are not gluten free. I used Designer Whey vanilla, which is gluten free and is sweetened with Stevia. This is perfect for a light breakfast or shared with someone as a snack or healthy dessert. Here is the recipe:
Berries and Cream Protein Smoothie – Makes 1 large smoothie or 2 smaller smoothies
2 cups of frozen mixed berries (my frozen blend had strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
1 1/2 cups of milk (any kind of milk will work)
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
Place frozen mixed berries and milk in the blender and puree until everything is blended together and all chunks of fruit are completely smooth. Feel free to add additional milk if you want your smoothie to be thinner.
Add vanilla protein and blend until protein powder is completely blended with the smoothie mixture.
I often look at recipes on various blogs as well as on recipe websites and Pinterest. One interesting and very easy recipe I kept seeing on Pinterest and found on various blogs was 7 Up biscuits. Since biscuits are usually filled with gluten, I decided to undertake making the gluten free version of them. Given that the gluten containing ingredient is Bisquick and there is a readily available gluten free Bisquick, I figured this was worth a try. Never mind the fact that I hadn’t had biscuits in nearly a year before I made these.
Both times that I have made these so far, my gluten eating husband also ate them and enjoyed them. He said he never would have guessed that they were gluten free. I made them the first time with gluten free Bisquick (definitely a good biscuit taste) and the second time with Bob’s Red Mill pancake mix (tasted more like corn muffins that time, but still great). Hope you enjoy these with chili, beef stew, and other meals as much as I have. I have also offered the option to turn these into biscuit muffins, which are great with butter and jam. These also store well in the refrigerator or freezer. Here is the recipe:
7 Up Biscuits – Makes 6 large biscuits or muffins or 9 smaller biscuits
2 cups of gluten free baking mix, biscuit mix, or pancake mix (like gluten free Bisquick)
1/2 cup of sour cream or plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup of lemon lime soda
1/4 cup of melted butter
Preheat the oven to 450F.
Melt butter in small saucepan on low heat until completely melted or in microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.
Add butter to the bottom of a 9 inch square pan or a muffin pan (6 muffin kind).
Add Baking mix into a large bowl.
Add sour cream and lemon lime soda into the bowl.
Mix everything together, the dough will be on the soft side.
Roll or drop into 6 to 9 dough balls (depends how big you want your biscuits) into the square pan or muffin pan.
Bake biscuits for 12 to 15 minutes or until tops begin to turn golden brown. Watch them carefully since they do cook at a high temperature.
With this being my first holiday season eating gluten free, I have had to make some adjustments to a few traditions. For many years now I have baked cookies over the holidays to bring to work and to serve to friends and family who visit. This easy to make cookie is one of the successes I had this season with baking cookies. They can be decorated with colored sugar or simply rolled in white sugar like I did with mine.
You can purchase a gluten free flour in most stores now in the baking or health food aisle to make these. Xanthan gum is also usually in those aisles. You also can visit an Asian store like I did to buy rice and tapioca flours. The Asian flours sold there are often cheaper and are finely milled (meaning your baked goods won’t come out gritty). Each 1 pound bag I bought cost me $1 to $1.25. If you have access to an Asian store like I do, I recommend visiting there and saving some money on flour as well as other items (they sell many naturally gluten free items there like rice noodles, rice paper to make rolls, nori paper for sushi, etc). Most of my gluten free flours that I have come from there these days. The rest I buy from Trader Joe’s or Wegmans.
These cookies are perfect to bring to a family gathering, a party, or to simply enjoy. Also perfect for kids to put out for Santa. Here is the recipe:
Butter Cookies – Makes 2 to 3 dozen
1 cup of slightly softened butter, approximately 2 sticks
1 1/2 cups of gluten free flour (I used 3/4 cup of white rice flour, 1/2 cup of glutinous (sweet) rice flour, and 1/4 cup of tapioca starch for my flour blend).
4 teaspoons of xanthan gum
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
White sugar for rolling the cookies in (about 1 cup)
Cooking spray or butter for greasing the baking sheet(s)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put butter and powdered sugar into mixing bowl and blend with mixer until both are fully combined.
Add flour(s), sugar, vanilla, and xanthan gum to butter mixture.
Mix for at least 5 minutes on medium to high speed or until dough has fully come together.
Spray or butter baking sheet(s) for cookies so that they are easier to remove later.
Roll cookies using about 1 Tablespoon of dough per cookie.
Roll each cookie in sugar. To make these festive you can sprinkle the top of each one with colored sugar.
Place each cookie on the baking sheet, leaving some room in between each cookie. Do not press the cookies down unless you want them to be completely flat, they do flatten out.
Bake for 9-12 minutes or until the edges start to lightly brown.
Remove from oven and let cool for at least a few minutes before removing them from the baking sheet(s).
Serve and enjoy. These are great for the holidays or anytime.
I have noticed that many people have a preference for salty or sweet when it comes to snacks. I am more of a sweets person and often like to have something sweet for my evening snack/dessert after dinner. However, eating cookies, cake, candy, and other sweet treats are not something I want to be eating everyday for health reasons. On an average night I usually do healthier desserts like these baked apples. Baked apples are perfect for a healthier dessert that is delicious and takes care of that sweet craving. I have been making these for several years now in the fall and winter months when apples are in season and are cheaper to buy than most other fruits. These are great on their own or served with vanilla ice cream, vanilla yogurt (regular or Greek works), or whipped cream.
Sugar N Spice Baked Apples – Serves 2
1 Tablespoon of dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1 Tablespoon of softened butter or margarine
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash and dry apples. Cut the apples in half and remove the core.
Place apples on a small, non-stick cookie sheet with the cut, flat side facing up.
Mix brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon together in a small bowl to make your sugar and spice mix.
Spread the top of each apple with butter.
Coat each apple half with the sugar and spice mix.
Bake apples for 25-30 minutes or until apples are fork tender and soft.
Serve on its own or with Vanilla ice cream, vanilla yogurt, or whipped cream and enjoy.
I have been exploring different ways to enjoy seasonal vegetables and to take advantage of the best produce that fall has to offer. This take on butternut squash and sweet potatoes transformed into noodles with a julienne peeler offers another way to enjoy these as a fall side dish or a light, healthy meal.
Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato “Noodles” in Garlic and Herb Butter Sauce – Serves 2 to 4 as a side dish, serves 1 to 2 as a main dish
1 small sweet potato
1/2 butternut squash
1/2 cup of diced onion (about 1 small onion)
1 tablespoon of butter
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of thyme
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Peel your sweet potato and butternut squash with a peeler.
Julienne the sweet potato and about 1/2 of the butternut squash using a Julienne peeler to make noodles. I recommend using the “neck” part of the squash. There will be approximately 1 1/2 cups of sweet potato and 1 1/2 cups of butternut squash “noodles” by the time you are done peeling your sweet potato and butternut squash.
Dice 1 small onion or until you have 1/2 cup of diced onion.
Heat up a large pan to medium heat and put a tablespoon of butter into the pan.
Add sea salt, black pepper, thyme, garlic powder, and diced onions to the pan once the butter is melted and completely coating the pan.
Saute the onions for 3-5 minutes or until the onions are completely cooked through and translucent.
Add extra virgin oil to the pan and stir the olive in the pan.
Add butternut squash and sweet potato noodles in pan.
Turn up the pan to medium high heat and cook noodles for 4-6 minutes or until noodles are fully cooked, stirring the noodles every minute or so.
Like many others this time of year, I am currently enjoying the leaves changing colors and the cooler weather. I also enjoy the seasonal foods like pumpkin, apples, and many other fall seasonal foods and treats. This rice pudding is one that showcases a seasonal fall food and can be dessert or breakfast. This pudding is basically pumpkin pie filling and rice pudding coming together and becoming a delicious dish of its own.
Pumpkin Spice Rice Pudding – Serves 2 to 4
3/4 cup of uncooked rice
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 eggs, whisked together
1 15 oz can of pumpkin
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan and stir the rice into the boiling water.
Reduce the pan to low heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Drain rice and combine 1 1/2 cups of cooked rice, 1 cup of milk, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, sugar, vanilla, and salt into a large saucepan.
Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to stir the mixture every few minutes.
Whisk eggs and remaining 1/2 cup of milk together.
Stir in milk and egg mixture and cook for two more minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and allow pudding to cool in a large container for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Serve and enjoy!
I have had a few successes and some major errors when it comes to baking gluten free desserts. This is the widely shared and used flourless peanut butter cookie recipe on various recipe websites taken to the next level. I have made that recipe which usually has 1 cup of peanut butter, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 egg. I found it to be a good cookie, but too sweet for me. After a few tweaks and the addition of chocolate chips, I have come up with a moist, delicious cookie that will satisfy every peanut butter and chocolate craving. I made this final, perfected recipe and doubled the recipe to make a large batch of cookies. I brought these cookies to one of my closest friend’s birthday party yesterday. I hope you enjoy these as much as my friends and I did. Perfect to enjoy for a special treat at home or double the recipe for a party or gathering with friends and/or family.
Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies – Makes about 2 dozen cookies
1 cup of peanut butter
1/2 cup of white sugar
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup of semisweet or dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla, and egg until well combined.
Add chocolate chips and gently mix them in until they are evenly dispersed through the dough.
Use 1 tablespoon of the mixture per cookie and place cookies about 1 inch apart onto cookie sheets. Roll cookie into ball and slightly flatten each cookie with a fork or the palm of your hand (if you over flatten them, they will end up more crunchier and flat instead of soft and chewy).
Bake until golden around the edges or about 10 to 12 minutes. Leave cookies on cookie sheets for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Then gently remove cookies with spatula and put cookies onto a cooling rack or a big plate.
Serve and enjoy when cookies are cooled to room temperature, which will take about 1 hour. These cookies taste best when they are room temperature. Store cookies in a tightly sealed container or Ziploc bag, they will be good for at least a few days.
Fall has arrived and today where I am it feels like fall! I love the fall’s cool temperatures, Halloween, and the many delicious seasonal foods fall has to offer. One of my favorites is butternut squash. Here is a very simple recipe for a homemade butternut squash soup that pairs well with a salad and some gluten free crackers for a nice, leisurely lunch. Very healthy, yet rich in flavor along with a hint of spice. Here is the recipe:
Butternut Squash Soup – Makes 2 bigger bowls or 4 cup sized bowls
A 12oz box of frozen butternut squash or 2.75 cups of pureed, cooked squash (I used a box of frozen, you can get store brand of this at some supermarkets such as mine and bird’s eye also has this in their veggie line)
1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth (I used chicken broth)
1/3 cup of milk
1/2 tablespoon of butter
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper (use 1/4 tsp if you want your soup to be less spicy.)
1/4 teaspoon of ground powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
Fresh Basil leaves to garnish soup (optional)
1. Defrost frozen squash or prep fresh, cooked squash to become puree.
2. Add pureed squash along with broth and milk into a medium sized saucepan.
3. Mix liquids and add black pepper, ground ginger, onion powder, and garlic powder.
4. Mix everything together and cook soup on a medium-high heat until the soup starts to boil.
5. Add butter and simmer soup on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring soup every 1-2 minutes.
6. Take soup off the stove, let the soup cool for a few minutes, and then serve in bowls or soup cups. Here is my lame attempt at doing a fancy food picture using a fresh basil leaf in the middle of the bowl:
I made the pumpkin spice syrup this morning from Baker Girl this past weekend. I made mine sugar free with Splenda and substituted the nutmeg, ginger, and cloves with 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Came out fantastic and tastes as good, if not better than Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice. I actually liked it better. Easy and cheap to make, definitely worth a try! Definitely makes a cup of coffee with milk a bit more special and is great for a homemade pumpkin latte or pumpkin chai tea latte. To see the original post, visit http://buddingbaketress.blogspot.com/2011/09/pumpkin-spice-syrup-for-homemade.html. Here is the my slightly modified version of the recipe I made from Bakergirl:
Pumpkin Spice Syrup for Homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes (makes about 2 cups of syrup)
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
1 cup sugar (I used Splenda)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to keep syrup from burning.
Let mixture cook together until it becomes syrup-y and begins to coat the spoon (for about 10-15 minutes), then remove from heat.
Refrigerate in a heat-proof container. The syrup will thicken a bit in the refrigerator, but will become syrup-y again when heated.