Tag Archives: easy

Gluten-Free, Milk-Free Gingerbread

Gluten-Free, Milk-Free Gingerbread

Years ago I inherited a gingerbread recipe that sent my taste-buds flying.  It was a dear friend’s mom’s, and I remember the first time I made it for a group of friends.  Back then, I was relatively unfamiliar with basic cake techniques, and the idea of “starting and ending with dry” seemed practically scientific.

The cake got raves.  But after that first time, I couldn’t eat it.  My milk allergies had gotten worse.

Fast forward ten years later and I made the recipe my own.  I think actual ginger-bread is too often overlooked in favor of its cookie-d cousins.  Which, trust me, I enjoy thoroughly.  But there’s something so homey and warm and New England holiday about it that I particularly love.

Substitution ingredients are below, but this blend of ingredients produced a moist, perfectly sweet, highly-spiced cake that I ate way too much of as soon as it was cool enough to slice.

Notes: I used butter, but not milk, substituting with unsweetened almond milk.  To make completely dairy-free, substitute the melted butter with melted butter-flavored Earth Balance.  You can use regular all-purpose flour (2 cups) if you don’t have gluten problems, or substitute with a gluten-free mix of your own.  I use less xanthan gum in this recipe than you might expect – if you want to omit completely, just add 1 Tbsp of flax meal. 

Another time I made this recipe I used 1 cup white rice, 1/2 cup tapioca, 1/2 cup sorghum and 1/4 cup millet and it worked well too!

Top with unsweetened coconut milk whipped cream for a special holiday treat!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch / flour (or arrowroot starch)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (or melted Earth Balance to make dairy-free)
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar and enough unsweetened almond, soy or cow’s milk to make 1/2 cup of liquid total
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup hot water

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour an 8-inch square baking pan (preferably something thick like a Pyrex dish), set aside.
  • In a measuring cup, heat the milk and vinegar so that it’s slightly warm.
  • In a large bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment), add flours, tapioca starch, salt, baking powder, baking soda, xantham gum and spices.  Stir/mix/whisk quickly to combine.
  • Make a well in the center and pour in this order: molasses, maple syrup, melted butter, egg, and milk/vinegar mixture.
  • Stir/mix together until combined.
  • Add hot water and beat until combined.
  • Pour into pan and bake for 40 minutes or until slightly browned on top and slightly springy when you press it with your finger.
  • Cool for 15 minutes, then loosen from the pan with a knife and invert onto cooling rack.
  • Cool completely before slicing.

Decorate with sifted powdered sugar and whipped cream (either cow cream or coconut milk are delish!)

Gluten-Free Pierogis and an Awesome Giveaway!

Gluten-Free Rosemary Pierogi with Sweet Potato Filling

Hello ladies and gentlemen!

I am so excited about today’s post, because not only do I have a delightfully easy and scrumptious gluten-free pierogi recipe to share with you, but I also have an incredible promotional giveaway thanks to the New York City food blog, Bromography!

A few months ago I had a ravishing conversation with Elle, Bromography’s founder and editor.  We were already “friends” on Foodbuzz and so I was familiar with the site, which focuses on the NYC food scene.  After dishing about our love of all things food friendly, we agreed that I should start an allergy-friendly restaurant review column, agreeing to call it, fittingly, The Dusty Review!  Since then I have been pleased to review some of NYC’s incredible eats on a weekly basis, as well as review the revered Mad About Macarons cookbook and interview it’s author, Jill Colonna.  I also reviewed a panel discussion on Food Markets and Immigrant Identity at the Museum of the City of New York, and have a few more exciting articles coming.  It’s a fun gig.

So to celebrate my joining the team Bromography and yours truly are pairing up to give you an awesome, gluten-free giveaway!

The Goods…

How To Enter…

Contestants who comment on  this post and “Like” Bromography on Facebook are eligible for Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking.

Contestants who comment on Bromography and “Like” The Dusty Baker on Facebook are eligible for the Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide.

Anyone who comments on both posts and “Like”s both blogs on Bromography are eligible for both books!

And if you follow DustyBakerGal and Bromography on Twitter and post this giveaway to your followers we’ll double your entry!

Please note that you must connect with BOTH my site and Bromography, which is why this is set up this way!  Drop me a line on either site so I know you’ve done so please!

The contest will end at midnight, EST on Thursday, August 25th.

And now… Pierogies!

I love reviewing restaurants for The Dusty Review, and my review of Odessa Restaurant in NYC’s east village.  Please click over to Bromography to check out the review!

I had been there late nights for whiskey and some really fattening food, but a visiting friend insisted we go there for breakfast to eat their peirogi.  Which we did.  Twice in three days.

The pierogis were not gluten-free.  But the sauerkraut and sweet potato ones that I had on my first visit were to die for.  The sauerkraut was so delectable that on my second visit I ate almost an entire side order of it with my eggs.

But how hard would it be to make gluten-free pierogis at home?

As it ends up, not that darned hard!

I knew pierogi dough was the basic combo of flour, eggs and water.  A quick glance at a Foodbuzz friend, The Country Cook, and I felt ready to tackle the task.  I made a simple sweet potato filling, and the glass of fresh rosemary sitting on my cutting board inspired me to create a new take on this incredible classic.

Recipes like this are actually where cooking gluten-free comes in handy – because there is no gluten in the dough, there’s no need to knead (ha!) for a certain amount of time, and no worry about overworking dough.  What’s important is proportion and temperature.

This recipe is awesome.  Easy.  Relatively quick.  Enjoy.

And good luck!

Sweet potato filled and so savory!

Ingredients:

  • Two cups of gluten-free flour:  I used equal proportions of brown rice, sweet sticky rice, quinoa and tapioca.  I highly recommend the sweet sticky rice, as it helps create the elasticity that’s awesome for pastas.  And make sure one of the flours is a starch such as potato, tapioca or arrowroot: this helps bind the flours together in the absence of gluten.
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp cream cheese (I used Tofutti cream cheese)
  • 1 Tbsp milk (I used unsweetened almond)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary, separated
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1″ pieces
  • Butter or olive oil to taste

Directions:

  • Set a medium pot of water on the stove to come up to a boil while you prepare the pierogis.
  • Bring a small pot of water to boil and drop in sweet potatoes.  Let them cook while you prepare the dough.
  • In a bowl of a standing mixer with the bread hook attachment*, place the flours, xanthan gum, egg, cream cheese, milk, 1 tsp rosemary and pinch of kosher salt.
  • Mix on medium speed until the wet ingredients dissolve.  Slowly add warm water (while mixing) until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Mix until a dough ball forms that is thoroughly blended, about 2 minutes.
  • Feel the dough – it should be tacky and with an elastic pull, but not sticky.  If sticky, add a tiny bit more flour.  If dry, a dribble of water.  Alter until nice and tacky.
  • Take 1/3 of the dough and press onto a floured board.  Roll until 1/8 inch thick, and then cut into circles with a 3″ cutter.  Repeat with other 2/3 of dough.  Let them sit while you continue with the sweet potato filling.
  • When the sweet potatoes are soft, drain and return to pot.  Mash along with reserved 1 tsp rosemary and salt and butter/oil to taste.
  • Put about 1 tsp of sweet potato filling in the center of each dough round.  Use a pastry brush to brush with water, then fold into a crescent.  Press completely closed with your fingers or press with a fork.  Repeat until you have about 8 pierogis.
  • Drop them into the boiling water.  Initially they’ll sink – once they’ve floated to the top, cook for about four minutes, for a total of about six minutes.
  • Remove onto a plate and repeat the process of rolling and boiling until all are done!

This makes about 24 pierogis.

I suggest serving them with a crackling of fresh salt and some butter, or the classic sour cream and/or applesauce.

Thanks to Bromography for our awesome giveaway and the review that inspired this recipe!

My plate-full of breakfast pierogi

Mango Mint Creamsicles

Mango, mint at a bit of strawberry

“Say hello to my little friend”

That little quote barely beat out “how town, summer in the city” for how I wanted to start off the introduction of these little frozen treats to you.  New York City is sweltering in the summer, and as I work primarily from home I’m usually confined to the corner of my bedroom next to the air-conditioner, where I am right at this moment, staring out the window at the pigeons lining the sill  20 feet opposite me, occasionally staring over my shoulder out the other window for a view of the beautiful trees that line my street and a glimpse of the clear blue sky.

I live in Washington Heights, where the sound of kids playing in the streets and the twinkling song of the ice cream man melds with the smell of families barbequing along the river.  It’s nifty.  But I can’t indulge in the ice cream sandwiches and red, white and blue popsicles that everyone seems to enjoy as they watch the sun go down on the Hudson.

But it doesn’t make any difference, because now I have MANGO MINT CREAMSICLES!

The mint is from my little window box, where in some miraculous way some herbs that I had planted there last season toughed it out through the months of ice and snow and came back even healthier in the Spring.  Spearmint and Chocolate Mint grow like mad, and they added a refreshing jolt to this simple combination.  The mango was juicy and ripe, from Fairway Market on 132nd street, my ultimate favorite large-scale grocer in the city.  The honey is local, and the yogurt is goat, from upstate. 

Sugar-free, gluten-free, cow-dairy-free.  Full of flavor and oh so easy to make.

Simple ingredients, awesome result.

Hot town… hot dang these are good!  So say hello to my  naturally sweet, ultra refreshing little friend.

Flecks of fresh mint make this an incredibly refreshing treat!

Ingredients:

  • One mango, peeled and roughly chopped, with about 2 Tbsp chopped into tiny pieces.
  • 1 cup of yogurt, plain (I used goat)
  • 1 cup of milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 Tbsp honey, optional
  • about 5 strawberries, optional
  • 3 drops yellow food coloring, optional
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped mint (I used a combo of spearmint and chocolate mint)

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients but mint and 2 Tbsp reserved mango in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy.
  • Divide reserved mango and mint into fourths.  Add half of each to the blender and stir.  Use 1/4 of the reserves to put a few pieces of each in the bottom of each popsicle mold.  Fill with puree, then top with the last bits of mango and mint.
  • Freeze until good and hard.

Makes 6.

100th Post and My 30th Birthday Fig and Blueberry Pie!

100th Post 30s Fig and Blueberry Pie!

Today I celebrate two milestones – my 100th post as The Dusty Baker and my 30th birthday!

Such times invite reflection.  I’ve been told by many people that all the things you struggled to discover about yourself throughout your twenties come together in your thirties.  I don’t regret one second of my twenties.  For during that time I graduated college, dated a man for almost 9 years who is now my best friend, formed strong relationships with my parents and siblings, conquered 2 serious battles with my illness, moved to and fell in love with New York City, lived in 6 different apartments (one in Ohio!), discovered a serious relationship with food, performed in some incredible pieces of art, been loved by some very special people and, yes, struggled to figure out who I am, and who I want to be.

And I’m feeling pretty at peace with who I am, and what’s to come.

I started my first blog while I was going through the last stint of my illness.  After some trial and error, I rethought of my mission and rebranded myself as The Dusty Baker, and launched this blog in October of last year.  Sometimes it’s been a top priority, other times it’s taken a backseat to shows and other work.  But throughout I’ve discovered an incredible community and forged connections with some passionate people across the globe:

  • FoodBuzz and the hundreds of bloggers I get inspiration from.
  • The Burwell General Store Recipe Swap that makes me think outside of the box and connects me with some ridiculously talented chefs.
  • Bromography – a NYC foodie website where I contribute The Dusty Review and other food-related articles.
  • Frosting for The Cause, where bakers contribute recipes, baked goods and a small monetary contribution daily that are dedicated to someone who has suffered from cancer.  My date to post is September 11th, the 10-year anniversary of the event that shocked my city and changed the course of politics, economics and warfare in our country.
  • Intercaketuality, a book-inspired website where I can contribute recipes inspired by books and stories that have captured my fancy.

So right now I’m off to a morning at a spa, then picking up a dear friend who’s visiting me for the week, and tonight I’ll dinner and drinks at my favorite restaurant in New York City (Mundo in Queens – check it out!) with a few of my nearest and dearest.

Oh, and then there was pie.  For breakfast.  Yes.

For some reason a rustic fruit pie or tart is what I want to celebrate with on my birthday.  I don’t often celebrate this day too extremely; sometimes I pick peaches and make jam, or make dinner for my family, or order take-out. It’s usually just a good time for reflection and the company of a friend or two.  But when I think of “who am I, in a pie!?”, simple pleasures come to mind:

A gluten-free, simple crust of whole grains with a tiny bit of natural sweetness.  Fruit that’s ripe and luscious.  Figs are often in season this time of year, fitting because my first taste of fresh figs was with my father and grandfather at his home in Portugal, and they’ve held a special significance since then.  A little bit of attention and some heat and I’m happy.  Like this pie.

Pie! For breakfast!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp sweet white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp date sugar + more to taste
  • 1 cup / two sticks unsalted butter, cubed small
  • 1 pint of blueberries, rinsed and stemmed
  • 160z container of green figs, cut into thirds length-wise

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Place the flours, starch, xanthan gum, salt and 2 Tbsp date sugar in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a food processor.  Pulse to combine.
  • Add the cubed butter and mix on low / pulse until it starts to come together into a ball.  If too try, add ice-cold water a tablespoon at a time until it just pulls together.
  • Press into a pie plate (I use a spring-form tart pan for gluten-free crusts).
  • Blind-bake for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, toss stemmed and rinsed blueberries in 2 Tbsp sweet sticky rice and 1 Tbsp date sugar.
  • When done, remove crust from oven, fill with blueberries, and arrange figs artfully on top.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the fruit is soft and the crust is lightly browned.

Figs!

Easy, Homemade Clarified Butter (Ghee)

Beautiful Golden Ghee!

The other night I was faced with a predicament – a need for Ghee for a Carob Cupcake recipe and nowhere open to get it.  I did, however, have a pound of organic unsalted butter in my fridge.  My only option – make my own clarified butter.

Which I did.  Rather simply.

Ghee (Indian clarified butter) is delicious – a pure form of butter with no milk solids which therefore doesn’t affect some people with milk allergies.  Some Indian and Hindu cultures use ghee both medicinally and spiritually.

I use it in everything.  On eggs, in baked goods, on gluten-free toast.  It is truly medicinal and spiritual.

Here’s how to make it.  Don’t forget to save the solids for sauteing vegetables or adding to hot cereal.

Clarified Butter!

Directions:

  • Use as much butter as you want or have on hand, but remember it will shrink by 1/4 – 1/3 in quantity, so if you have a need for a specific amount make extra.
  • Place a heavy-bottomed saucepan on LOW heat, as low as possible.
  • Add butter and let melt – don’t touch it!
  • Heat for about 25 minutes.  The butter will start to bubble and eventually the solids will rise to the top.  Let it continue to make a crackling noise, bubble and separate.
  • Skim solids from the top continually (reserve and use them in something else!)
  • Heat until the crackling stops.
  • Use a metal coffee filter or two layers of cheesecloth in a colander set over a heatproof bowl and pour butter through. I do this twice.
  • Reserve clear, golden-hued ghee in a clean glass jar and enjoy on everything.

Bubbling away

1 2 7
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,161 other followers

%d bloggers like this: