Monthly Archives: August 2011

Easy Cobbler Bread Pudding – Gluten, Dairy and White-Sugar Free!

 

Easy Cobbler Bread Pudding

Life is delicious.  As a gluten-freer, I sometimes miss bread-heavy meals and spongy caked desserts.  I equally miss Belgian waffle breakfasts and stuffed French toast.

So last night when I got home from listening to some stellar bluegrass (high-fives to the Six Deadly Venoms) I decided to make myself the best of both for breakfast: bread pudding.  Gluten-free.  Dairy-free.  Easy to throw together.  With no white sugar (I rarely consume it). And celebrating end-of-the-summer fruits.  A toss between cobbler, baked pancakes (I’m obsessed) and bread pudding.

Success, people, success.

This recipe is an insane journey of color, texture and flavor.  I used ripe blueberries and summer peaches along with dried apricots to give the fruit some va-va-voom.  The gluten-free bread base was soaked overnight in eggs, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon extract, hazelnut extract and just enough honey and maple syrup to sweeten the load slightly. And topped with slivered almonds, the texture was smooth with a tiny crunch.

The next day I quickly boiled some fruit, threw it together and baked it for 45 minutes.

You  can alter the recipe by doing what I did – playing with what you have in your pantry and adjusting to your allergy needs.  Omit the nuts completely if you want!  Add some fresh lemon zest (though I highly recommend having lemon oil on hand for recipes like this – it’s the Italian and Portuguese baker in me).  Play with extracts and spices to your heart’s content.  As long as you have the same basic proportions, you’ve got this delectable fruity, bready piece of heaven in the bag.

If you’ve got problems with sugar, though, I will confess that I’m a bit shaky as I’m typing this, having eaten my serving.  But I also just drank an entire pot of green tea.  So it’s anyone’s guess.

As a hearty breakfast this recipe will serve four.  But top it with your choice of ice cream after a long meal and it’ll satiate six.

If you’re going to put it into wine glasses like I did, make sure it’s cool, people.  Live and learn, right?

Chock full o fruity, bready, nutty goodness.

Ingredients:

  • Six slices of gluten-free bread at room temperature.
  • 4 large eggs.
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk.
  • Honey, maple syrup or both to make 1/4 cup.
  • 1 tsp cinnamon.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract.
  • 1/4 tsp hazelnut extract (or almond).
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used slivered almonds).
  • 3 small peaches or plums.
  • 1 pint blueberries.
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried fruit (I used apricots).
  • 1 tsp fresh, chopped mint.

Directions:

  • Place bread in a square Pyrex pan, 8″ or 9″, overlapping bread as best as possible.
  • In a small bowl, beat all the ingredients from the eggs to the extracts, in that order, whisking continually.
  • Pour over the bread and flip bread so that all is soaked in egg mixture.
  • Leave overnight to absorb.
  • When ready to assemble and bake, preheat oven to 350°.
  • Rinse, peel, pit and dice the fruit.  Place in a small pot over medium heat and heat until the blueberries burst and the fruits soften.
  • Stir in the dried fruit and mint, and pour over bread mixture.
  • Bake for 45 minutes until the bread rises and the fruit starts to bubble.

Warm and bubbly and gorgeous.

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Foodbuzz 24×24: A Scarborough Fair Summer Supper Party

Scarborough Fair Supper Party

Life is so delicious.  Last night, August 27th, I joined 23 other bloggers from around the world in hosting dinner parties with varying, festive themes as a part of FoodBuzz’s 24×24 dinner party.

I had crafted a dreamy, end-of-summer supper party proposal for this monthly internet party, thinking we’d be poolside at my childhood home in Connecticut.  I had envisioned bubbly, fruity cocktails, sunblock, French music and pulling herbs and vegetables fresh from the garden for cooking.  We would feast as the sun went down in bathing suits and sweaters, candles and lightening bugs lulling us into full contentment.  Each course on the menu would highlight the unique fragrance and taste of an herb that was found primarily from my father’s garden and my window boxes – rosemary, parsley, basil, chives, spearmint, chocolate mint, sage and lavender.  My guest list was assembling, I was menu-planning in my head and on paper, and things were shaping up perfectly in my little fantasy.

But reality trumped fantasy this weekend:  a hurricane walloped my perfect party plans.  The poolside fete turned morphed into an apartment party – getting to Connecticut was deemed almost impossible with Hurricane Irene running up the eastern seaboard.  Then our mayor shut down our entire transit system beginning at noon on Saturday – there went half of the guest list, who were coming from Brooklyn, Queens and various nooks in Manhattan up to my apartment near the Hudson far up on the west side.

What resulted, though, was still an incredibly fun evening.  6 locals within walking distance joined me on the rainy, humid night.  My roommate and I had spruced up the apartment, cleaning and decorating as festively as possible.  Because of the impending winds we had to move my herbs inside anyway – they made incredibly fitting center-pieces along with all those emergency candles.

We threw on some French music, lit the candles, settled in with mint juleps and champagne, and chatted away as the rain poured down.

My guests were lovely in their praises of the food and asked me to describe each course in detail – how things went together and the inspiration behind each.  Amongst the chaos that had been descending on the city in preparation for what was expected to be one hell of a storm, most of my friends over the city were huddled in their apartments with liquor and junk food.  We, on the other hand, celebrated the apocalypse with empanadas, prosciutto, roast beef, rosemary potatoes and homemade French macarons and ice cream.

Everything on the menu was homemade, planned to highlight some fabulous flavors.  And the entire menu was gluten and cow-dairy free.

And the hurricane?  Well, we didn’t lose power and the sidewalks up here are strewn with fallen leaves.  That’s just about it.

Because of the lack of light in the apartment due to the storm the pictures of the party are quiet uneven – most food shots being taken throughout the day as courses were prepped.  Recipes for what can be shared are linked to below the images.

The Menu

First Course

Melon, Basil, Proscuitto, Iberico cheese

Melon, Basil, Prosciutto, Iberico Cheese drizzled in lavender honey.

Herbs highlighted: basil and lavender

Empanadas

Gluten-free beef empanadas.

Herbs highlighted: chocolate mint

These were a huge hit. I had been dying for an empanada recipe after indulging in the gluten-full ones at my favorite restaurant recently, so these were an early thought on the menu.  Beef was sauteed in onions and garlic, then stewed down with cocoa, honey, cinnamon and hot pepper before golden raisins and olives were mixed in.  Finally the chocolate mint was blended and the mixture cooled before being filled into the flaky crust.  Click here for the recipe.

Parsley-Basil Macarons

French Macarons with Herb Filling

Herbs highlighted: parsley and basil

This was the most out-0f-the-box contribution to the evening.  I had FINALLY made macarons to perfection – it only took me five tries, interviewing macaron cookbook author Jill Colonna and taking a class at Dessert Truck Works to figure them out.

So I wanted to incorporate a savory macaron into the meal as well as using them in dessert.  Luckily Jill, in her book Mad About Macarons, had an incredibly easy filling that was basically parsley and basil blended with oil.  So I threw a non-descript amount of both in my food processor along with some bergamont-flavored olive oil, pink Himalayan sea salt and fresh lemon juice.

The result?  One guest actually said that this was her favorite of the three appetizers – the sweetness of the macaron and its gentle crunch crumbled perfectly underneath the herb mixture.  It was both salty, sweet and savory.

Unfortunately I don’t have a great picture of the final product because we were in hurricane mode lighting-wise by the time they were prepared.  But grab Jill’s book if you want the recipe and some amazing others.

Entree

Roast Beef, Rosemary Potatoes and Herbes de Provence Summer Squash

Roast Beef

Herbs highlighted: rosemary and chives

I don’t often make roast beef.  But I love using fresh rosemary on roasts, and as there was an abundance at my dad’s house this seemed only fitting.  I brought the meat to room temperature and then crusted it in olive oil, about 5 Tbsp fresh, finely chopped rosemary and 1 Tbsp of chives, as well as a little kosher salt and cracked pepper.  Then I placed it in an elevated roasting pan on top of a shallow bath of onions, garlic and lots of fresh rosemary.  Cooked to medium rare, it was quite delicious and only took an hour and a half to roast.

Rosemary Thyme Roasted Potatoes

Rosemary Thyme Roasted Baby Potatoes

Herbs highlighted: Um, rosemary and thyme?

I didn’t take a picture of the final product, again due to poor lighting.  But aren’t these tiny potatoes gorgeous!?! I love how easily they roast – they went into the oven doused in olive oil, kosher salt and fresh rosemary and thyme.  Without parboiling they were crispy and soft.  Perfection.

Summer Squash

Summer Squash with Herbes de Provence and Lavender Honey

Herbs highlighted: lavender, savory, fennel, thyme basil

Well, it wasn’t from my dad’s garden but this squash was local and deliciously sweet.  I doused it in a tiny bit of oil, a load of herbes de Provence (which in general I could never live without) and spoonfulls of lavender infused honey.  It went in the oven with the roast and potatoes, and in about thirty minutes was toasty and sweet.

Dessert

Hurrican Irene Erosion

Honeybun Ice Cream, French Macarons and Fruit Compote

Herbs highlighted: spearmint, lavender

What better way to end a summery supper party than with homemade ice cream and French Macarons with local summer fruit?  This dessert was gluten and dairy free, sweetened only with honey but oh-so satisfying.  Click here for the recipe.

The Party

Despite the rain, the threat that power-outages were coming, the lack of public transporation and the fact that we weren’t next to a pool celebrating the end of the summer, I was pretty darned pleased with my FoodBuzz Party.  No, it was not what I had planned.  But the food was still center-stage, and it was pretty damned good.  Possibly the best menu in entirety that I’ve ever made.  And I could think of no better way to spend the worst part of the storm than with some great people, some fabulous food and a festive atmosphere.  Hopefully I’ll get another shot down the road at hosting a Foodbuzz dinner party, but until then – thanks Foodbuzz.  And Irene.  And the glorious people in the pictures below for trekking out in the downpour to join me.

Place-settings

Menus decorating piano as we eat.

Friends

Amy - she also has gluten and dairy problems so this party was perfect for her!

Old-time buddy Jon - evidently he liked his dessert.

Meg - gorgeous with her dessert.

Gary enjoys spearmint. Just ignore Jon.

Empty, honey covered plate and chocolate mint.

The herbs were the focus still of the evening

Ambiance

My dog Mitra - hates rain, LOVES prosciutto

Bringing the outdoors in.

Gluten-free Chocolate Mint Beef Empanadas

Beef Empanadas with Chocolate Mint

My favorite NYC restaurant makes empanadas to die for – filled with beef, raisins and olives and encased with a flaky, crumbly crust.  Now and then I indulge, even though they’re packed with gluten, because they’re just so damned good!

So when putting together my menu for FoodBuzz’s 24×24 dinner party, I decided it was time to make these puppies gluten-free.

My proposal was a “Scarborough Fair Summer Supper Party”, where each dish would be created around an herb or bunch of herbs.  For the empanadas, chocolate mint was to be the herb.  Yes, this is an herb that I have growing in my window box that tastes both like chocolate and spearmint.  It’s divine in so many ways.  So I decided to go with a classic filling of beef, onions, garlic, raisins and olives but, to highlight the mint, also added cocoa, cinnamon and honey.

They had my guests drooling and my roommate so ready for more that after I post this I’m back into the kitchen to whip up another batch with the leftover meat.  The filling is both sweet and spicy, the crust flaky yet solid.

They’re completely gluten and dairy free, and full of flavor.

Ingredients: filling

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 – 1 1/4 lb ground beef – the higher quality the better, obviously!
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup chopped green olives
  • 1/2 cup white raisins, soaked in warm water and drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp chocolate mint

Directions: filling

  • Heat the oil on low in a heavy saute pan or stockpot.
  • Add the onions and garlic and cook on low until soft.
  • Add the red pepper, paprika, salt and cocoa and cook until incorporated.
  • Add beef and saute for about five minutes until just brown.
  • Add the water and cook until it boils down and the mixture is soft but not watery.
  • Add the olives, raisins and chocolate mint and stir to incorporate.
  • Remove to fridge and chill for up to 24 hours to let the flavors meld.

Ingredients: Dough

  • 2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup quinoa flour
  • 1 cup tapioca starch or arrowroot
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 20 Tbsp Earth Balance Butter or unsalted butter, cubed
  • Up to one cup ice cold water

Directions: Dough

  • In a food processor, whip all flours, xanthan gum and salt together to combine.
  • Add the cubed Earth Balance and pulse to combine until the butter is wrapped in flour in little pea-sized clumps.
  • Slowly add the water, bit by bit, until the dough comes together into a ball but is not wet.

Assemblage:

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray / wipe with oil.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured board (I use rice flour when rolling pastry).  Work with one quarter of the dough at a time.  Roll to 1/8 inch thickness, constantly turning, flipping and re-flouring the board as necessary.  Cut into 4″ rounds.
  • Place dough on sheets and put about a tablespoon of filling in the center of each.  Wet the edges of dough and fold over and press to seal.  Crimp edges with a fork.  Repeat until you have about 30 beautiful little empanadas.
  • If desired, wash the top of the empanadas with an egg beaten with a little water to make them glossy and bright.
  • Bake for about 8 minutes, turning the sheets halfway through.
  • Cool slightly before serving.
  • Prepare to be wowed.

 

Hurrican Irene Erosion – a Decadent Dairy-Free Dessert

Honeybun Ice Cream with Fruit Compote and Macarons

This dessert is incredibly happy-making.  Honeybun ice cream made with coconut milk, topped with stewed fruit and a French macaron – divine. It was the perfect conclusion to my FoodBuzz 24×24 Scarborough Fair Summer Supper Party.  Laced with lavender honey and infused with spearmint, it’s both sweet and refreshing at the same time.

Oh, and why is it named Hurricane Irene Erosion?  Because my lavish summer supper party poolside in Connecticut became a rainy dinner for seven in my apartment in NYC because of the impending doom of Irene that – gasp! – dropped a twig on my car.  Check out the post on the party.

The ice cream itself is incredibly creamy, silky smooth and just-sweet enough without being overbearing.  It’s made with a base of egg yolks and coconut milk tempered together to make a rich custard.  Sweetened only with honey and vanilla, it’s a healthy version of the classic for those of us with milk allergies.

The photos don’t quite do it justice – let’s just say if you make it you won’t be disappointed.

Oh, and the entire recipe is gluten and dairy free. 

I’m not going to put a macaron recipe up here – they’re not easy to make.  This was my first successful attempt after 5 failed tries.  It took my interviewing Jill Colonna of Mad About Macarons and a pastry class at Dessert Truck Works to get it right.  So I’ll let you explore those options if you want to tackle macarons, or suggest my Rosewater Lavender Shortbread.

Hurricane Irene Erosion

Ingredients: Ice Cream

  • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 5 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup honey – split
  • 1 tsp gelatin

Directions:

  • Bring a pot of water to a simmer and place a large metal bowl on top in old-school double-boiler style.
  • Place coconut milk and vanilla in the bowl and heat until hot but not boiling.  When warm, add 1/2 cup of honey and whisk to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks.
  • Temper the eggs by whisking about 1/2 cup of the warm coconut milk into the egg yolks.  Make sure you whisk continually so that the eggs don’t clump.  Repeat two or three more times until the egg yolks come up to temperature, and then add the yolk mixture to the bowl of milk.  Whisk together over just-simmering water until the mixture thickens slightly.
  • Sprinkle the gelatin on top and let it dissolve slightly, then continue to whisk until incorporated.
  • Remove mixture to cool and then refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.
  • Make according to the directions of your ice cream maker, or pour into a wide pan and stir every half hour for about four hours. When the mixture is just coming together, swirl in the remaining honey so that it remains in streams in the ice cream. I used honey infused with lavender, which was quite delightful.

For the Fruit:

I used a pint of black plums and two ripe peaches.  I simply stewed them with a teaspoon of gelatin over medium heat until they boiled down a bit, then cooled them to gel.  When completely cool, I stirred in two tablespoons of fresh spearmint.

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

Dairy-free Molasses Cookie Coffee Ice Cream Pie! A Recipe Swap!

Coconut Milk Coffee Ice Cream in a Molasses Cookie Crust

Did I stay in nights this weekend to make cookies and coffee ice cream?  Yes, yes I did, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  Nor am I ashamed to admit that I ate the piece of ice cream pie in the photo above as I started typing this entry – at 11am on a Sunday morning.  And another one later at night while watching True Blood.

I have no shame because this dessert – coconut milk coffee ice cream in a molasses cookie crust – is one of the most insanely delicious things I’ve ever made.  And it happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free  and sweetened only with date sugar, molasses, maple syrup and honey.

Other than watching movies and walking miles on end, this weekend was devoted to a BURWELL GENERAL STORE VINTAGE RECIPE SWAP!  Yep, it’s that time again, when a group of twenty or so bloggers get sent an old recipe that we each have to adapt, changing at least 3 things about the ingredients or process.  This month is an already gluten-free molasses cookie!

Please check out the other swappers!!  It’s always incredible to see how a talented group of inspiring chefs take one idea and run with it.  Details and links are below the recipe.

So, I actually didn’t really want to alter much of the recipe, as it looked simple and delicious.  I just changed the combination of flour and used date sugar instead of white sugar and a little maple syrup, bourbon vanilla and cocoa powder to add even more depth. 

The result?  These cookies taste incredible!  Soft, almost cake-like, and you can taste everything in them: the molasses, cocoa, vanilla, maple syrup and coffee.

But my version looked horrible.  Puffy, no spreading, rough.  I told my roommate they too closely resembled deer turds.  So I needed to take them a step further.  What to do with delicious but ugly cookies?

PIE CRUST!! And what better to put into the pie crust than coffee ice cream?!?!

So I followed the recipe in Simply Gluten and Sugar Free, using honey as a sweetener and maple syrup instead of Stevia.  An overnight chill and 20 minutes in my ice cream maker, and voila! One of the best desserts I’ve ever made and a new favorite.

I’ve been chomping down too many of these cookies this weekend.  And ate that pie with a huge pot of tea made with leaves my friend Jonathan gave to me from a monastery in China.  It think it’s time to get my Physique 57 on and then walk the 8 miles to my yoga studio.  So while I go do that, I leave you…

Coconut Milk Coffee Ice Cream Pie!

Coconut Milk Coffee Ice Cream Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup sticky / sweet rice flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup palm or date sugar
  • 2 eggs, thoroughly beaten
  • 1 cup dark molasses
  • 3/4 cup coffee, cold
  • 1 tsp bourbon vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350°.  Butter or grease thick baking sheets.
  • Sift together all dry ingredients in medium bowl.
  • In the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, cream the shortening and sugar until smooth and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs and molasses and beat to combine.
  • Add the vanilla to the coffee, then add dry ingredients alternatively with the coffee, starting and ending with dry.
  • Drop in tablespoons onto sheets, flatten, and bake for about 15 minutes or until slightly soft.

To make into an ice-cream pie, simply crush about 16 of the cookies in a food processor and press into a shallow pie plate.  Place in the freezer to harden while you either process your ice cream or melt some store-bought ice cream to pour in.  I made and LOVED the recipe posted on Simply Gluten and Sugar Free.

Recipe Swappers
Lindsay is a gem with honesty and simplicity written into her recipes. She loves Oregon, its ingredients and Portland’s lifestyle, and it shows.
Chef Dennis. A veteran chef in his own right, we are lucky to have his Italian Lemon Pear Cae contribution to the swap.  The rest of his fantastic food blog can be seen at morethanamountfull.
Mari lives in Oregon wine country and is a budding wine connoisseur.  I fell in love with her use of Pinot Gris in the glaze for her (gluten-free!) Lemon Cake swap, which was her inaugural recipe with us. Visit her at The Unexpected Harvest.
Boulder Locavore’s  starting point for the recipe swap is always a local-seasonal-organic combination, though her love of international cuisine and cocktails often work their way into the mix!
Joy, holding down a dairy-intolerant household, doesn’t let that restrict her love of flavors and food, in fact, I think it inspires her to do what she does. When you visit her blog, be sure to check out her “ubiquitous about page” and the balcony gardening category.
Monique has been food blogging since 2007, her Fat and Happy blog is about food, recipes, cooking, baking, drinking, eating and friends! As the former owner of the Monkey Bean Cafe and Bistro, she still loves to create recipes from scratch. If you send her an unusual ingredient, she’ll create a recipe for you!
Shari Good Food Week is almost like my diary as I search for a house, plan the perfect veggie patch, stumble through farmer’s markets with my eye half open (because you need to be there at 6am to get the fresh eggs), gather family and friends around a shared table, laugh out loud and enjoy life to the fullest! Blogging from Canberra, Australia, I hope to bring a different perspective to the Recipe Swap.
Priya is also joining us from Australia. She’s a vegan who loves baking, cooking and eating, having chosen the lifestyle after being a vegetarian most of her life. She caters hand-crafted vegan and vegetarian food, and also delivers hand-crafted  vegan and vegetarian cookies and cupcakes.
Jennifer‘s tag line says it all: Life is too short to eat bad food.  At her blog, Adventuresome Kitchen, you will find a passionate food-type, feeding her family amazing meals and living to blog about it. Jennifer joined in at Grandma’s Chicken Pie and Drop Biscuits.
The Cake Duchess.  The name says it all, and Lora’s recipes are rock solid, creative, decadent, inspiring. What other adjectives can I throw at her?  Her innaugural recipe was Grandma’s Chicken Pie and Drop Biscuits, a rare savory recipe for her to develop.
Pola is a new blogger from Italy, transplanted to the cold Midwestern plains. After years of calling mom to check on cooking times and temperatures of family Italian recipes, she started writing them down. In the process, she is hoping to help new friends discover how to cook simple and authentic Italian food.
Mary is a lifelong resident of the San Francisco Peninsula and was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2007. Her search for a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie that didn’t taste, look or feel gluten-free inspired her blog and she’s been happily baking ever since.
Jamie blogs at Random Acts of Food and has a love for food that only an Italian could! She enjoys cooking and baking in all cuisines for her family and friends.  Originally from Long Island, Jamie now resides in Boston with her amazing fiance.
Crissy and Lauren are two So Cal natives and recent college graduates who are embracing their passion for all things culinary in their Little Yellow Kitchen. They blog at From The Little Yellow Kitchen about maintaining a balanced diet of equal parts healthy, savory, and sweet.  From a zesty Chocolate Mojito Key Lime Pie to a nutritional Rosemary Parmesan Kale Chip snack, this kitchen has it all.
Claire blogs with Texas pride from Dallas. She loves chicken fingers, Law and Order SVU and is left handed. We are excited to have her!
Sabrina Modelle  is the girl behind The Tomato Tart, a blog about the unadulterated love of food and cooking. Farmers markets, ethnic groceries, high-end restaurants and tiny taquerias all provide inspiration for the Northern California native who was raised in a French family with food at the center of life. From rich chocolate cakes to vegan curries, the Tomato Tart is full of flavor both figuratively and literally and like food, best enjoyed with a nice glass of wine.
Nicolle writes the joyful Rhythm of the Seasons from Boulder, Colorado and is looking forward to offering more recipes and menus as the spring, summer and harvest seasons heat up.
Linda is an award-winning journalist, food writer and nutritionist and Founder/Editor/Publisher of EENews, for sustainable food and sustainable life. She has written 20 cookbooks that have garnered prizes including the James Beard for one she wrote with her daughter, Katherine West DeFoyd, entitled Entertaining 101, Doubleday. Their follow-up book, Stylish One Dish Dinners, Doubleday, was also nominated for a James Beard prize. Her ground-breaking book, Bread in Half The Time, Broadway Books, was named the Best Cookbook in America by the prestigious IACP, The Julia Child Award.

Jaclyn is a writer, baker, perpetual daydreamer and the author of the cooking and baking blog Food+Words. She has a degree in Creative Writing and is currently studying Baking and Pastry at Le Cordon Bleu. Jaclyn loves poring through old cookbooks she inherited from her grandmother and reinterpreting those recipes with modern, updated twists. Jaclyn has a panchant for baking, laughter, a nice glass of Riesling and anything lemony.
Alli is a research nutritionist by day, transforming into a creative cook by night. She lives in Seattle and scours through her piles of cookbooks, magazines and restaurant experiences for easy ways to transform recipes into healthy and flavorful dishes.
Rachel Saunders is the owner of Blue Chair Fruit and author of The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook. She produces all of her jams and teaches classes from her space in Oakland, California.
Lana is a native of Serbia, who has finally found her home in Southern California, after living for ten years in Michigan and ten years in Ohio. She is mother of three girls and wife to a token household male. her blog is a place where the love for words meets the love for food, a place where family and friends, old and new, gather around the virtual kitchen to reminisce, laugh and cry.
Emily thinks that no matter what it is, all foods taste better when made with love. From growing up in North Carolina with a Palestinian father with a passion for food and an American mother who really did not, to being the holiday sous chef to her real-chef brother, to moving to Brooklyn, the love of a good meal pumps through her veins. From her CSA to nostalgic junk food cravings, from the food truck to the fine dining scene, kitchen inspiration is around every corner.
Alex: I live in Seattle and while I have a typical desk job, my heart is in my home, baking, cooking and eating! I love reading about what other people are creating, so I decided to share my own creations. My blog is about food, but also things that I generally love in life. Since I love eating, I also have a huge love of fitness…so I can eat more!
Shumaila:  After I got married in March, 2010, and shifter to a town where take-aways and restaurants are next to none, I started cooking for the first time in my life. I have always loved baking, but cooking to me was completely new. I started experimenting with recipes for my husband and myself and found blogging the perfect way to keep track of things in the kitchen and also a way to document my first year of marriage. Being Indian, I also started a weekly blog posting “Garam Masala Tuesdays” to try, to the best of my knowledge, to explain the Indian recipes I try at home. I blog from Arizona, USA.

Cookies to Cure Cancer!

Survivors walking into closing ceremony

Hello foodie friends!

Two weekends from now I’ll be walking in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Breast Cancer 3-Day.  My team, Walking for Udders, has been participating in this 60-mile walk since 2004, choosing a different city every season and raising thousands of dollars of the cause with every event. 

This year we’re walking in the Twin Cities, our 10th event! 

In order to participate, the two walkers on our team EACH need to raise $2,300!  If we don’t raise it, we pay for it!  After this event we’ll have raised $55,000 for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which is one of the industry leaders in raising awareness and funding life-saving research.  Over the years hundreds of friends of ours have donated generously, but this year we’re running a little under in our fundraising.

So I’m combining my love for this event with my baking explorations:

For every $10 donated to my team between now and the middle of September, I’ll donate a cookie to a local Breast Cancer organization in thanks for all their hard work in finding a cure!

If we get our necessary $4,600, that’s 460 cookies!  And even more than that…

Whoever makes the largest donation will get 24 of these cookies delivered to their home and will help me choose the charity or organization(s) to receive these cookies!

I haven’t made them yet, but they’ll be flavorful shortbread cutout cookies in the shape of pink ribbons, with beautiful piping, along the lines of these cookies I’ve made for other events.

Friendly Cut-Outs

Cookies for Smith Street Stage's Macbeth

For Jesus Christ Superstar Benefit

Please tell your friends, pass this along, and help us raise money for the cure!

Visit OUR WEBSITE!

Donate by CLICKING HERE!

Thank you!!!

Team Walking for Udders, Boston 2005

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.

American Noir Cupcakes – A Tribute to Raymond Chandler’s “The Big Sleep”

THE BIG SLEEP Cupcakes - Dark chocolate, bourbon, smoky cherries and coffee. To die for.

 Agnes Lowzier: Is Harry there?
Philip Marlowe: Yeah, yeah, he’s here.
Agnes Lowzier: Put him on, will you?
Philip Marlowe: He can’t talk to you.
Agnes Lowzier: Why?
Philip Marlowe: Because he’s dead.

A few months ago two people who don’t know each other inspired me in their own ways to create this, the most dangerously delicious of cupcake recipes.

The first was a man I was dating who had a healthy obsession with American noir, both in film and novel form.  He had loaned me Raymond Chandler’s debut novel, The Big Sleep.  Our beloved protagonist, detective Philip Marlowe, drowns himself in whiskey, smokes cigarettes like a champion and downs coffee to keep it all clear.  Blood is shed and it’s Marlowe’s job to wade through the beauties of the underworld to find out where it all began.

Sounds like the makings of a very sultry dessert if you ask me…

…And a gluten-free one, of course.

The second vessel of inspiration was Kelly over at Ingested Read.  A bookworm and baker like yours truly, Kelly creates recipes inspired by whichever book she’s currently devouring.  I’d contributed Little Red Velvet Riding Hood Cupcakes, Hansel and Gretel Grown-Up Gingerbread and Curious George Banana Bread to her site(all gluten-free and delectable).

But it was time for something sexy.

So after a few months on my mind these cupcakes finally made it to the light.  Last week, in the dim glow of my steamy NYC kitchen, barefoot and a bit sticky, I hollowed out dark chocolate cupcakes, filled them with a cold cherry that had been soaking in smoky, bourbon-laced dark blueberry syrup, and topped them with coffee, whiskey and vanilla frosting and a candy cigarette.  Sweet, smoky, dark and with a tiny punch of alcohol.  Cheers to you, Raymond Chandler.

Cherry Filled and Dangerous

The result?  Cut it down the center, and between the dark chocolate layers oozes a blood red cherry.  The frosting is light and fluffy and offers a one-two punch to combat the bourbon kick of the fruit.  All the flavors meld together… let’s just say you may be inspired to go walk in the rain, or sit in a dim bar, or throw on a mink shawl and shimmy down the street in heels.

Notes: I made two chocolate cake recipes – the gluten/dairy free one you see below and a basic chocolate cake from Real Simple.  I soaked my cherries in smoky blueberry syrup from a recipe I recently made for a Burwell General Store Recipe Swap.  If you need your frosting to be dairy-free, I suggest my favorite Fluffy Vegan Frosting with the addition of the coffee in the recipe below.  These cupcakes are best fresh.

The Big Sleep Cupcakes

Ingredients: Cake

  • 2 cups gluten-free cake flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used safflower)
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 tsp bourbon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk thickened with 1 Tbsp soy sour cream or cream cheese or 1 1/2 cup whole cow’s milk
  • 1 tsp chocolate extract (optional)

Ingredients: Cherries

I used the smoky blueberry syrup I created last week.  For a quick alternative, try this:

  • 24 ripe cherries, pitted
  • 2 cups blueberry syrup or 1/2 cup blueberry jam dissolved with 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder or paprika
  • 3 Tbsp bourbon or whiskey

Directions: Combine all ingredients and soak for at least 24 hours.

Ingredients: Frosting

  • 1 Tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 Tbsp hot water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1lb box powdered sugar
  • 2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp good whiskey or bourbon

Directions:

  • Line 24 cupcake tins and preheat oven to 350°.
  • Sift together flour, cocoa, soda, powder and salt.
  • In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer) beat oil, sugar and maple syrup on medium/high until thoroughly combined and smooth.
  • Add eggs one at a time and beat to combine.
  • Beat in vanilla and chocolate extract.
  • Reduce speed to low and aternate the flour and almond milk, starting and ending with dry, until all are just combined.
  • Fill tins 3/4 of the way full and bake for about 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out smooth.  Cool completely.
  • When cool, use a teaspoon to hollow out a space from the top of the cake enough for one cherry.  Fill each cupcake with a cherry and drizzle with a little sauce (this should soak into the cupcake a tiny bit.

To make the frosting: beat the butter on high until light and fluffy.  Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until light.  Add the whiskey, vanilla and coffee and beat to incorporate.

Decorate!  Pipe or use a small icing spatula to glob as much frosting onto the cakes as possible.  Decorate with dark sanding sugar or a candy cigarette.  Enjoy with a cool glass of sweating bourbon.

Yum.

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