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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Rich & Creamy Homemade Chocolate Pudding!!!

I've always preferred homemade pudding to any other type.  Chocolate pudding, while delicious, can be a bit temperamental compared to making vanilla pudding.  This method, where you add hot, but not yet boiling, milk to the eggs before adding them to the pot works perfectly to any lumpiness.  The result is a delicious, creamy pudding.  If you are a fan of pots de chocolats, you may enjoy making this with a light cream instead of milk.  I find the taste of your cocoa powder will completely change the taste of your final pudding.  I vary what I use depending on my mood, sometimes a dark, rich cocoa powder, other times a light, mild one.  If you use one that is a bit more on the bitter side, this recipe will need an extra 1/4 cup of sugar.  Enjoy!
Homemade GF Chocolate Pudding
Homemade GF Rich and Creamy Chocolate Pudding. Yum! 

Rich & Creamy Homemade Chocolate Pudding!!!
Makes ~ 6 servings

In a separate small bowl, whisk together until smooth.  Set aside to add in later:
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup cornstarch

Whisk together in a medium-size saucepan:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder (some cocoa powders are naturally sweeter, some are more bitter - you can use a little extra sugar if necessary)
1/2 tsp salt
pinch cinnamon (optional)

Add and whisk the following into the sugar/cocoa mixture:
2 3/4 cup milk (higher percentage of fat is best - you can even use a combination of 10% cream and milk for a really rich pudding)

Stir milk/cocoa mixture regularly while heating over medium heat until mixture almost comes to a boil **you don't want it to be at a boil, just very hot because you'll add a bit to the eggs and if it is boiling, you'll curdle the eggs a bit** 

Using your mixture of "almost" boiling hot chocolate milk, whisk 1/4 cup milk into your egg yolk mixture.  Add an additional 1/4 cup milk, whisking in.  Add a final 1/4 cup milk, whisking in.  This allows your eggs to heat up a bit slower, so you don't end up with lumps in your pudding.

Add egg mixture back into the pot.  Stirring constantly, mix until mixture comes to a boil and begins to bubble and thicken.  Keep on heat no more than 1 minute after mixture has begin boiling.

Remove from heat and add:
1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla extract or bean paste (optional)
Homemade chocolate pudding - just off the heat. 
Put immediately into desired cups or bowls.  Cover with plastic wrap (make sure plastic wrap is on the surface of the pudding to avoid any 'skin' being formed on top of your pudding).  Let cool.  Great hot, warm or chilled.  Enjoy! 

Homemade GF Chocolate Pudding
Homemade GF Chocolate Pudding

Friday, 25 November 2016

Curry Chicken Salad

Curried chicken salad has grown on me over the years, although (sorry mom), I still despise ones with grapes in them.  I find this version hits the spot with a nice mix of spicy, sweet, crunchy and smooth.  Funny story: We have all enjoyed this salad so much, I thought I'd whip some up for dinner when we had a couple guests.  After all, it is a favorite.  In my hurry to prepare things, I mistook the metal canister of Old Bay Seasoning for Curry Powder, using half Old Bay with half of another container of curry powder (Do Not make this mistake).  Oops!  It was so ridiculously salty with the added Old Bay.  Thankfully, we all had a good laugh.   If you make it properly, using curry powder (which should have no added salt), you'll be good to go!  Enjoy!
GF Curry Chicken Salad
Delicious curry chicken salad - great on sandwiches, on top of salads, or with easy to make homemade focaccia bread.

Curry Chicken Salad

Mix together:
1/3 - 1/2 cup dill pickles, diced (fermented dill pickles are wonderful, if you can find them)
1/4 - 1/3 cup green onions, sliced
1 apple, diced
2-3 cups cooked chicken, diced
1/4 - 1/3 cup mayonnaise
~4 tsp curry powder (add 1 tsp at a time, to taste)
~3/4 tsp ground pepper, more/less to taste

Serve the tasty curry chicken salad with toast or crackers, homemade breadhomemade focaccia bread and/or a side salad.  Enjoy!

Monday, 21 November 2016

Toffee Covered Donut Holes! (with dairy-free option)

These toffee-covered donut holes are divine.  I have to admit, I sometimes find things made with coconut oil or coconut milk to overpower the flavor I'm going for, but in this case, the dairy-free version works just as well.  It has more of a light toffee glaze taste, where the regular one has more of a caramel type flavor.  Both were delicious.  Both were eaten with gusto.  All were heartily enjoyed by gluten-free and non-gluten-free eaters at a church activity where I brought them to share.  I try to space out how frequently I make up donut holes, but these are such a perfect fall treat, I may have to whip some up again soon!   Happy eating! Enjoy!

Gluten Free Toffee Covered Donut Holes
Fresh toffee covered donut holes, ready to eat! 

Toffee Covered Donut Holes! (with dairy-free option)
Makes ~36 donut holes

Mix together in a large bowl:
2 cups Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/2 cup brown sugar (dark is best)
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup coconut milk (or regular or lactose-free milk)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla bean paste OR vanilla extract

Let rest 5-10 minutes while your frying oil heats.

In large high-sided frying pan, heat 1" avocado oil (or similar frying oil, but I love the crunch and flavor of avocado oil for donuts) over medium-high heat.   Cook donut holes using a mini cookie scoop, or by small spoonfuls (like you would to make cookies if you had two teaspoons to use).   Cook 2-3 minutes per side.

Remove donut holes to a paper towel-lined pan.  Allow them to fully cool.  Once they are cooled, dip the donut holes one by one in the toffee glaze, below, then place dipped donut holes on wire racks.  I like to use a slotted spoon to dip. The toffee coating hardens as it cools, making for a lovely combination with the donut hole.

Toffee Glaze
This makes a generous amount - you could definitely halve this recipe and still cover all the donut holes.  

Heat over medium heat in a saucepan or frying pan until sugar has fully dissolved:
4 Tbsp butter OR coconut oil
1/2 cup brown sugar

Once sugar has dissolved, add and bring to a boil:
2/3 cup whole milk or light cream (lactose-free works) OR canned coconut milk

Remove from heat and add, mixing well to fully incorporate the sugar:
3 cups powdered sugar

I like to put the toffee glaze back over medium heat briefly, just until bubbles form, stirring constantly.  If you have any clumps of powdered sugar that aren't breaking up, it really helps.

Use delicious toffee glaze while hot/warm to dip your donut holes!    Below, I made two types of toffee glaze, making a half recipe of each.  I used two small frying pans and made one batch of dairy-free (using coconut oil & canned coconut milk) and one batch of lactose-free (using butter + 10% lactose-free cream).


The darker glaze on the left is the dairy-free one, the lighter glaze on the back/right were the regular glazed donut holes. 
On the left are the dairy-free, (toffee glazed made with coconut oil & coconut milk substitutes), on the right are the regular glazed donut holes.  Both were delicious!  And, best of all, no one could tell the difference, they were both inhaled! 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Butternut Squash, Garlic & Shallot Risotto

Fall is the perfect time of year for butternut squash, garlic & shallot risotto.  Often, I whip it this type of squash up into one of our favorite soups: butternut squash soup.  But it's nice to have an all-in-one meal, too, such as the one here!  Add in some delicious seasonal garlic and shallots with your squash and you have a tasty, rich meal.  I recommend dicing the squash into small bite size pieces, so it cooks quickly, but doesn't end up mushy by the time the risotto rice has cooked.  I also prefer to slice the garlic and shallots, so you get flavorful bites throughout.   Enjoy!
GF Butternut Squash, Garlic & Shallot Risotto
Delicious Butternut Squash, Garlic & Shallot Risotto, ready to eat! 

Butternut Squash, Garlic & Shallot Risotto

In a large frying pan, cook for 1-2 minutes over medium heat:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 shallots, sliced
5 garlic cloves, sliced

Add an cook 5-6 minutes:
1/2 butternut squash, peeled & diced into small pieces

Move vegetables to the edges of the pan, add and cook 1 minute in the center of the pan:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup arborio risotto rice
GF Butternut Squash, Garlic & Shallot Risotto

Add the spices and the liquid slowly over 15-20 minutes of cooking, to allow the liquid time to be absorbed as it cooks, stirring occasionally, but not allowing the rice to stick to the bottom of the pan.
3 cups chicken broth OR 3 cups water + 3 tsp Asian Mushroom Seasoning OR GF chicken bouillon/paste
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch crushed rosemary
salt & pepper (start with 1/4-1/2 tsp of each and adjust at the end, if necessary)
Butternut Squash, Garlic & Shallot Risotto

Once all liquid has been absorbed, remove from heat and add:
1/4 - 1/2 cup parmesan romano or similar cheese.

Salt & Pepper, to taste.  Serve and enjoy!  

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Gluten Free Potstickers!

Homemade Gluten Free Potstickers!!!!  These are also known as pork dumplings. This gluten-free recipe was inspired by a lovely woman, Ao, who taught me how to make proper Chinese potstickers with a variety of fillings.  This recipe is based off the type she typically makes with pork, but you can substitute in leeks or zucchini for the cabbage.  You can use diced shrimp, scambled eggs (cooked, then finely diced), beef w/ onion or celery, or any other fillings in place of the pork.  The important thing is to have all fillings finely diced/minced.  A food processor can help with this, although with leafy things, like the leaves of the bok choy, I found it necessary to dice by hand.   Ao doesn't typically measure anything, even when making her dough - but I paid close attention to the amounts of each ingredient she added in order to create a recipe similar to what she makes.   Here it is for your enjoyment!  It's best if you have a few people that can work together to make these, similar to what a family would do for Chinese New Year, it can be lots of fun.    These were eaten so quickly at my house, we may have to double the batch next time!  Happy eating!
Gluten Free Chinese Potsticker Dumplings
Piping hot GF potstickers, ready to eat! 

Gluten Free Potstickers
Makes ~30 potstickers

Finely mince/dice:
1 small bok choy or 1/2 cabbage 
Place bok choy in a colander and add 1-2 tsp salt.  Let sit to drain ~20-30 minutes.  Rinse and squeeze as much liquid out as you can before adding to the filling, below.

Mix together in a large bowl the dough:  I had a bit of extra filling which you can pan-fry to eat later wrapped like spring rolls in rice wrappers, but if you don't want extra filling, just double this dough recipe so you don't run out of dough.
Mix first:
1 cup brown rice flour
scant 1/2 cup sorghum flour
scant 1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup potato starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking powder (for no puffiness in your dough, you can leave this out, but I like the taste)
1/2 tsp salt
Then add and mix with a spoon until smooth (use the back of the spoon to smooth out, if needed):
1 cup milk
2 tsp oil

Set aside dough and mix together the filling:
In a large bowl, combine:
3/4 lb ground pork
bok choy or cabbage, from above, liquid squeezed out
6-7 green onions, finely minced OR 1-2 large shallots, finely diced
1-2 Tbsp minced garlic
4 tsp grated ginger (thawed, if frozen)
2 tsp agave syrup OR 1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 Tbsp GF soy sauce (like Bragg's soy seasoning)
1 Tbsp oil, heated in a pan until hot (it brings out the flavor of the oil)

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Have a small bowl of water nearby in case your dough sticks to your fingers at all - you can dip your fingers in the water and the dough won't stick to you.

In a small bowl, mix together and place next to your stove:
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp GF flour (a flour mix works, or you could just use rice flour)
A couple tablespoons of this mixture will be added to the pan with the cooking potstickers. 

Roll out a small 2 Tbsp sized balls into an oval between two pieces of plastic wrap.  Place 1-2 tsp filling in the center, and use the plastic wrap to fold your potsticker in half and press edges together.
Rolled out dough topped with a dollop of filling.  Use the plastic wrap to fold in half, as shown on the right. 

Place filled potsticker on a pan lined with parchment paper.   Repeat until you have 8-10 potstickers folded and ready to cook.
Gluten Free Chinese Potsticker Dumplings
Filled dumplings are placed on a parchment paper-lined pan, in preparation for cooking.

In a large pan with lid, heat over medium-high heat, 2 Tbsp oil (I like avocado oil, but any vegetable or canola oil will work).  Add potstickers to pan, making sure they aren't touching each other.   Pour in ~2-3 Tbsp of flour/water mixture from above.  Cover the pan and cook without opening for 7 minutes.  This steams and fries the potstickers simultaneously.
Gluten Free Chinese Potsticker Dumplings
Potstickers after 7 minutes of cooking (covered), nicely browned on the bottoms. Make sure to wipe the pan clean between batches! 

I fill/fold up more potstickers while a batch is cooking.   *Wipe the pan clean between batches, then add fresh oil, potstickers & GF flour/water mixture before covering to cook again.*

Potstickers will be nicely crispy and browned on the bottom.  The tops will be steamed and the filling will be cooked through.  Remove to a serving dish and serve with additional GF soy sauce, or a mixture of GF soy sauce, rice vinegar & sesame oil.  

Enjoy!!!
Gluten Free Chinese Potsticker Dumplings
These were eaten happily by all! 

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Hempseed & Chia Bread - Fluffy & Delicoius

A nice, fluffy hearty gluten free bread.  Hempseed has a slightly nutty sort of taste, which adds a lovely flavor to this bread.  I like to use the white chia seeds in the bread, but you can use the black ones, too.   This bread is easy to whip together, too.   Just mix the dry ingredients, then add the wet, beat for a few minutes - rise and bake!  It's quick and delicious!  Enjoy!  
Gluten Free Hempseed and Chia Bread
Fresh Gluten Free Hempseed & Chia seed bread, sliced and ready to eat! 

Hempseed & Chia Bread - fluffy & delicious
Makes 3 loaves (2 large, 2 mini is what I usually make)

In a mixer, mix the following: (it's important to mix GF flours before adding liquids to avoid clumping)
2 cups brown rice flour
1 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
4 Tbsp sugar
5 tsp xanthan gum
4 tsp rapid-rise yeast
2 1/2 tsp salt

Add and then beat 3-4 minutes, until nice and smooth:
2 cups warm water
3 eggs
1/2 cup hempseeds
3 Tbsp chia seeds + 9 Tbsp water
4 tsp apple cider vinegar

Butter bread pans with coconut oil (or another oil/butter).  Fill pans halfway with batter, spread tops to smooth.  Let rise in a warm location until the bread is even with the top of the pan (about 30 minutes).
Gluten Free Hempseed and Chia Bread
The pans get filled halfway, then are left to rise until they reach the height of the top of the pan.

Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes for a large loaf and 25-30 minutes for a mini loaf.   Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.  Slice and enjoy!
Gluten Free Hempseed and Chia Bread
The large loaves turn out nicely. I've made this bread many times. I like to use large silicon bread pans.

Cooled bread can be sliced and frozen to be used later.  I find with gluten-free breads it's best to freeze on the day you make the bread.  This will retain the fresh flavor after freezing.  Enjoy!!!
Gluten Free Hempseed and Chia Bread
Fresh large and mini loaves, cooling.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Tasty Pumpkin Cookies

These are a nice, light and fluffy pumpkin cookie.  All those "pumpkin pie" flavors are piled into each little cookie, making these a fun fall treat!  I am a firm believer that if something says "pumpkin" on it, it should contain real pumpkin.  These have plenty of delicious pumpkin puree packed inside - you can use homemade pumpkin puree or canned.  Enjoy!
Tasty Pumpkin Cookies with Glaze! Yum! 

Tasty Pumpkin Cookies
Makes 36

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats.

Mix together, then set aside:
3/4 cup Kristin's Gluten-Free Flour Mix
3/4 cup sweet white rice flour (or plain white rice flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
pinch ground cloves

Beat together:
6 Tbsp butter, softened
1 cup sugar

Add and mix until combined:
1 cup homemade pumpkin puree or 100% canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. (don't overmix).

Scoop small scoops (I use a 1 Tbsp mini cookie scoop) onto prepared pans.  Bake 8-10 minutes.
Pumpkin cookies before and after baking.

Cool on cooling rack.  If desired, mix together and use to glaze the tops:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk

Leftover cookies can be frozen.  These cookies can be stored for a day at room temperature, but they do get more moist/sticky over time, so don't layer them unless you don't mind if they stick together a bit.  Enjoy!
Fresh pumpkin cookies made with homemade pumpkin puree!