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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Fresh Berry & Nutella Crepes

When fresh berries are in season, there's nothing to do but come up with ways to use them!  They're particularly lovely on crepes with a bit of nutella and whipped cream. I tend to make up a batch of my savory crepes, but since they've got a bit of cinnamon in them, it really stands out when you use them as dessert crepes, too! A two-in-one recipe! Enjoy!

Crepes
Makes 12 crepes (10" crepes)
In food processor, blender or w/ a stick blender, Blend the following:
2 large eggs
1 cup milk (lactose-free works great)
1/3 cup water
1 cup cornstarch
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional, but I love it even for savory crepes)
Add and blend in:
2 Tbsp. melted butter
Heat non-stick crepe pan on med-high.
Butter lightly only for the first crepe (*see note below), and pour approx. ¼ cup batter onto pan, quickly pick up and rotate pan around so the batter spreads out thinly.
Cook until batter appears dry, then flip crepe. Cook briefly on the other side. Each side should be lightly browned. They cook up quickly, so keep a close eye on things!
Put on plate, then repeat. You can stack the crepes directly on top of each other.
*Note: After cooking the first crepe, you won’t need to butter the pan. I find that the first crepe sticks if you haven’t buttered your pan, but after that it’s not needed. (the first crepe also won’t be as pretty as the rest!)
Top crepes with the following:
whipped cream
Nutella (or homemade fudge sauce, if you can't have nuts)
Fresh berries of your choice:
strawberries
raspberries
blackberries
Feel free to add more berries - it's hard to tell just how humongous these raspberries were!
Roll up crepes and enjoy!
Yum!
 
 

Crepes with lunchtime fillings

This version of my savory crepe recipe is my absolute favorite, so I'm putting it all on it's own here.  I find that despite having no sugar, these crepes work great for either savory meals or sweet treats.   I've always found while making crepes that the first crepe isn't terribly pretty, but the second and subsequent will look perfect!  They'll be wonderfully thin and delicious. You'll love them! Enjoy!

Lunchtime Crepes
Makes 12 crepes (10" crepes)
 
In food processor, blender or w/ a stick blender, Blend the following:
2 large eggs
1 cup milk (lactose-free works great)
1/3 cup water
1 cup cornstarch
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional, but I love it even for savory crepes)
 
Add and blend in:
2 Tbsp. melted butter
 
Heat non-stick crepe pan on med-high. 
Butter lightly only for the first crepe (*see note below), and pour approx. ¼ cup batter onto pan, quickly pick up and rotate pan around so the batter spreads out thinly. 
Cook until batter appears dry, then flip crepe.  Cook briefly on the other side.  Each side should be lightly browned.  They cook up quickly, so keep a close eye on things!
 
Put on plate, then repeat.  You can stack the crepes directly on top of each other.
 
*Note: After cooking the first crepe, you won’t need to butter the pan.  I find that the first crepe sticks if you haven’t buttered your pan, but after that it’s not needed. (the first crepe also won’t be as pretty as the rest!) 
The first crepe (on buttered pan) always ends up looking like the one on the left here.  Make sure you still butter for the first crepe, otherwise you'll find they'll stick to the pan.
Just stack crepes directly on top of each other.  This stack here as 12 crepes! They're so thin you'll hardly believe you've ended up with that many. 
Prepare toppings before or after making crepes.  For lunchtime crepes, the following is great:
Thinly slice the following:
sandwich meats
cheese
spinach
romaine lettuce
small tomatoes
cucumbers (sliced & diced)
Also nice are:
hummus
mustard
Crepes are wonderfully thin, so don't overfill.  Roll or fold up your crepe and enjoy!
OR you can fold your crepe into a triangle for some variety. ;)
 
For storing leftover (unfilled) crepes, put some plastic wrap over the plate and pop in the refrigerator.  You'll need to let crepes come to room temperature or reheat gently in the microwave so crepes separate after being refrigerated.  Enjoy!

Delicious Spinach, Onion & Ricotta Pizza

Some of my favorite toppings on pizza are ones that combine multiple flavors.  This is no exception!  In this recipe, I cook and season the veggies in advance, so you never end up with a soggy pizza!  The ricotta adds a little something extra to the pizza that I find just ties it all together.  I love Friday night pizza nights, and last Friday I whipped this up for my family and then whipped it up again at my friend, Julie's house. Everyone loved it!

Delicious Spinach, Onion & Ricotta Pizza
 
Cook veggies:
These veggies are also great in a quiche or frittata!
 
You have two options for cooking the spinach. Option 1 is here, Option 2 I will suggest later
Option 1:
If you have a juicer, juice 1- 2 cups spinach (you want to remove most of the liquid).  Save the chopped spinach that remains after juicing. You will add this after you fry up your onion.
 
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in small/medium sized frying pan over medium heat.
 
Add and sauté 2-3 minutes:
1 small red onion, diced
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil
¼ - ½ tsp garlic powder
 
Cook 5-6 minutes, until onion is just tender.  If you have used Option 1, add the spinach now and cook, stirring now and then, just until spinach is nicely wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
If you don’t have a juicer, do the following to cook the onions/spinach:
Option 2:
Remove your cooked onions from the pan and set aside. 
Put a 1 - 2 Tbsp. water into your pan and add 1-2 cups spinach.  Cook spinach 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted. 
Set spinach aside to cool.  Once spinach is cool enough, you’ll want to squeeze to wring out the excess liquid.   Then mix together the onions and cooked spinach.  Set aside to use as a topping.
 
Prep your other pizza toppings:
Grated Mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
½ cup ricotta cheese, seasoned with salt & pepper
Dried red pepper flakes (optional)
Spaghetti sauce (I like Classico brand spaghetti sauces, personally. Most of their sauces don’t have added sugar)
 
Make my pizza dough recipe as directed, adding flaxseed meal, if desired.  Remember to put your dough on parchment paper/silicon mat on an upside-down cookie sheet, so you can easily slide the pizza onto the oven rack to crisp the bottom for a few minutes.
 
Add toppings as follows:
1) Spaghetti sauce, use sparingly
2) Grated Mozzarella cheese
3) Sautéed spinach and onions
4) Ricotta cheese, small scoops spaced around the pizza
5) Sprinkle with parmesan, if desired
6) Sprinkle with dried red pepper flakes, if desired
Bake 10-15 minutes at 425F. Slide off parchment paper onto oven rack and cook an additional 4-5 minutes.   Remove from oven onto a cutting board. 
Slice and serve! Enjoy!
 

Monday, 27 May 2013

Kristin's Homemade Hot Dog Buns

It's that time of the year!  BBQ's are heating up! I wanted to see if my delicious hamburger buns would work equally well for hotdog buns and... yes, they do!  Yay!  The best part is, you can pipe them out onto the pan, like you would frosting or mini bagels, so they end up nicely shaped, just as you want them.  We found the taste perfectly compliments a hot dog or sausage.  We prefer eating the natural hot dogs and sausages (without nitrates/preservatives), many of which are gluten-free!  Enjoy!

Hot Dog Buns
Makes 8-10 buns
 
Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper OR silicon mat.
 
Heat in microwave, about 60 seconds:
½ cup milk (lactose-free works great)
Add in:
4 Tbsp butter, diced
 
Combine in a separate bowl:
½ cup warm/hot water
4 Tbsp honey
2 ½ tsp yeast (quick-rise or traditional)
 
Mix together in a large bowl:
1 ½ tsp xanthan gum
1 ½ tsp salt
 
Mix together the following:
milk & butter mixture
yeast mixture
AND
2 eggs
 
Mix together the wet ingredients into dry ingredients.  You can mix by hand with a spoon. Use the back of the spoon to help smooth out the dough.
 
Scoop batter into a medium-sized Ziploc bag.  Cut a corner and pipe 8 – 10 hotdog buns onto the prepared cookie sheet.  If you aim to make each bun the size of a hot dog, they’ll work out well (since they’ll getting bigger during rising/baking).
 
Use wet hands to smooth and shape the dough if they’re not exactly how you would like them to look. 
 
Brush dough with melted butter (optional, but highly recommended)
Dough after being piped onto the cookie sheet.
Set cookie sheet in warm location to rise, 25-30 minutes.  (you don’t have to cover them during the rising process. Nice, eh?!) The dough will have puffed up a bit, but won’t have doubled in size. 
The dough after rising 25 minutes in a warm location.
Bake at 400F ~15 minutes, until nicely browned. 
Place buns on cooling rack to cool.
Slice, top with your favorite hot dog or sausages (or use as a sandwich roll) and enjoy!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Triple Chocolate Cookie OR Caramel-Chocolate Cookies

These are some of my favorite cookies! I love them either with multiple types of chocolate chips or with mini rolo-type candies (when I can locate them).  I used to make them regularly, and then had to change things up and make them gluten-free. It took a number of tries, but I finally figured out how to get the same yummy taste. One key to making these scrumptious cookies is using dark cocoa powder, rather than regular.  It adds a depth to the taste.  They're still yummy with normal cocoa powder, but trust me, the dark cocoa powder is worth using! You'll love them! Enjoy!
You can make these delicious chocolate cookies flatter, like this, or puffier (which I've shown later)

Triple-Chocolate OR Caramel-Chocolate Cookies
These cookies are very soft and chewy.  Makes ~3-4 dozen cookies

Heat oven to 350F
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mat.

Mix together in a bowl:
1 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder (there are some extra dark cocoa powders, which have a different taste b/c of how they’re processed. I prefer the dark cocoa powder in this recipe to a normal cocoa powder)
½ tsp xanthan gum
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

In a mixer, beat until fluffy:
2/3 + 1 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup white sugar
½ cup light brown sugar

Add, and beat in:
1 egg
1.5 tsp vanilla

Add flour/cocoa mixture and mix, just until combined.

Add, and mix:
1 caramel-filled baking pieces (mini rolo’s are great)
OR
¼ - ½ cup white chocolate chips, ¼ - ½ cup milk chocolate chips, ¼ -½ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Spoon by small cookie scoop (1 Tbsp-sized) onto baking sheets.  You can leave as-is, or flatten slightly, depending on your preference.
You can scoop and just leave them as-is for a puffier cookie, or flatten slightly (I use the palm of my hand) for a cookie like the ones up top.

Bake 7-8 minutes.  It’s difficult to tell when chocolate cookies are done, but it should be clear that the cookie is cooked and no longer gooey in the center. Avoid overbaking!

Let rest a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then use spatula to remove from baking sheets to wire racks to cool.
Enjoy!
The cookies are more rounded/puffier if you don't flatter prior to cooking. But, the taste is similar, so make it either way, or both ways! They'll be great.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Lemon Cupcakes w/ Lemon Frosting

These are deliciously moist with an ample amount of lemon flavor in both cupcake and frosting.  There's a fine line while baking with lemon between just right and too much, and these fall into the just right category.  I've done quite a bit of experimenting making lemon cupcakes and frosting since my friend, Emily, told me that she's been craving a delicious gluten-free lemon cupcake w/ frosting that actually tasted delicious.  After much experimentation, we have success!  You'll find I use lemon essential oil to enhance the flavor in the cupcake.  I love the DoTerra essential oils, particularly their lemon, since it's wonderful to use in cooking.  You can buy the lemon oil at mydoterra.com/cstolworthy, my friend Christine's online store. They can be shipped all over the world!  A note on using the oil: while baking, you can use plenty of lemon oil, with frosting, use just 1 drop since a little goes a long way!  Enjoy!

* For something different, try my Strawberry-Lemon Cupcakes!
To create wedding reception-worthy cupcakes, the lemon frosting was piped on in swirls.  White edible glitter was sprinkled just on the top middle and then a small piece of homemade candied lemon peel was placed on top to create a finished look. Yum!
More everyday cupcakes - piped from a freezer ziploc bag by snipping the corner.  

Lemon Cupcakes w/ Lemon Frosting
Makes 9 cupcakes, can easily be doubled to make 18 cupcakes.

Set oven at 350F.  Line 9 muffin cups with paper liners.

Mix the following in a bowl:
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup white rice flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
½ cup sugar

Add and whisk until smooth:
½ cup milk (lactose-free works great)
¼ cup oil
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp orange zest (make sure to only use the outer edge of the orange, so you don’t get the white rind, which is bitter)
1 tsp lemon zest
9 drops lemon essential oil (I love DoTerra Essential Oils* b/c many of their oils are good for ingesting. The lemon and peppermint are wonderful for cooking!)

Add and whisk in:
3 eggs

This batter will seem very runny, but that’s okay!  Coconut flour absorbs a lot of liquid during cooking.
Pour into 9 muffin cups. Fill ~ ¾  full.   Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden browned. 



These rise SO well. The coconut flour absorbs a remarkable amount of liquid, leaving you with a moist, delicious cake!
Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.  Top with Lemon Frosting, below.

Lemon Frosting

Beat until nice and creamy:
½ cup butter (softened)
¼ cup cream cheese (softened)

Add the following and beat until light and fluffy:
(you can add the powdered sugar by ½ cups to avoid it making a mess during mixing – I tend to just mix slowly, scrap down, mix again, scrap, etc. until it’s all combined)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp milk (lactose-free works great)
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 drop lemon essential oil (*)
½ tsp lemon zest, optional

Make sure you’ve let your frosting beat so it’s nice and light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Scoop the frosting into a Ziploc baggie.  Cut the corner off and pipe onto cupcakes.  To make swirls, as shown in the picture, start in the center and pipe in a swirl, making your way outward. 
Enjoy!

*You can buy the DoTerra Lemon Essential Oil at mydoterra.com/cstolworthy, my friend Christine's online store.  The great thing I love about the DoTerra Essential oils is that they're a very high quality and taste, and are made to be ingested - they have all sorts of other flavors that can be used in cooking and baking! 

Friday, 24 May 2013

BBQ Beef Sandwiches (or tortillas)

BBQ beef sandwiches are one of those foods that are just so satisfying, particularly as weather gets warmer.  This recipe is great because you can eat the cooked beef as-is, which will taste nice, juicy and mild, or you can add your favorite bbq sauce to it for an extra kick.  Upon visiting my sister in Texas, I discovered that they like to eat dill pickles with their bbq sandwiches, and sometimes eat the beef and dill pickles all rolled up in tortillas - a fun and tasty option. Personally, I love the sandwiches on homemade hamburger buns! Yum! Whatever way you choose to enjoy your barbecued beef, these options for cooking will leave you with a delicious meal that everyone will enjoy!

Barbecued Beef Sandwiches
Serves 6-8
(3 lbs is great for 4-6 people, 5 lbs is great for 6-10 people)
There are two cooking options, Crock-pot and oven.  The oven method is below.  You can choose whichever works best for you!
1st: Crock-pot Cooking
Place 3-5 lbs. beef chuck roast in a crock-pot
Combine, and then pour over beef:
½ cup ketchup
½ cup water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 onion, chopped
Cook 5-6 hours on high. 

While cooking, you can whip up a batch or two of homemade hamburger buns or homemade corn tortillas.
homemade hamburger buns (you can make them w/out sesame seeds) AND homemade corn tortillas
 Scoop out meat and onions with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.  Remove at least half of liquid (set aside in case you need to add some back).
Break up the meat with a fork, return to crock pot.   You can let it cook on low until ready to serve.  You can also add your BBQ sauce directly to the beef while it's resting on low.
The thing I love is that this BBQ beef is full of onions. Yum!
Serve on your homemade hamburger buns with BBQ sauce.  I like to add a bit of honey BBQ sauce to add more BBQ flavor. 
You can also serve on homemade corn tortillas!  It's great wrapped in a tortilla with a dill pickle & BBQ sauce. 
Enjoy!
2nd:  Oven Cooking
Place 3 - 5 lbs. beef chuck roast in a deep dish that is OK in the oven. Many have lids, but if not, tightly cover with 2-layers foil before cooking.
Combine, and then pour over beef:
½ cup ketchup
½ cup water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 onion, chopped
Cook 5-6 hours at 300F/130C. 
Scoop out meat and onions with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Remove at least half of liquid (set aside in case you need to add some back).

Break up the meat with a fork. You can return it to the deep dish and add BBQ sauce now, if desired.

Serve on homemade hamburger buns with BBQ sauce. I like to add a bit of honey BBQ sauce to add more BBQ flavor.
You can also serve on homemade corn tortillas! It's great wrapped in a tortilla with a dill pickle & BBQ sauce. 
Enjoy!