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Archive for February, 2009

Blueberry Sauce

Blueberry Sauce

Blueberry Sauce

Breakfast is difficult for me.  Cereals don’t hold me until lunch time, and I dislike most regular breakfast foods.  I have found that plain yogurt with this homemade blueberry sauce and a little granola does the trick, however.  This blueberry sauce is very easy to make and keeps well in the fridge.  We use it hot on waffles, pancakes and french toast, or cold on yogurt or ice cream.  You can add as much or as little as you want to your yogurt, depending on how much sweet you are looking for.  I generally use a tablespoon to a serving of yogurt.  Tomorrow I think I will try to make homemade peanut butter granola because the stuff I buy at the store is ridiculously expensive!

Blueberry Sauce

1/3 Cup water

1/3 Cup Sugar

1 Tbsp. Corn Starch

2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

2 Cups fresh or frozen Blueberries

1.  Mix the Sugar and Cornstarch in a small saucepan.

2.  Add water and Lemon Juice.  Mix well (make sure there are no cornstarch lumps).

3.  Add Blueberries and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

4.  Lower heat and continue to cook until blueberries break down a bit and sauce begins to thicken.

Serve hot, or put in a container and refrigerate.

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Dinner is Served

Dinner is Served

I haven’t done much in the way of cooking or baking this week — been feeling a little under the weather, so I have spent most of my time curled up on the couch finishing old crochet projects so that I can begin some new projects!  Sunshine made pancakes for dinner two night ago, and then I made this yummy, fresh vegetable frittata for dinner last night.

I just looked in the fridge to see what we had for veggies.  We had a little bit of fresh cilantro; spinach; asparagas; and a small piece of broccoli.  I used fresh garlic, sea salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper to season the frittata, and my cheese of choice for last night was cheddar.  I know some people use a plate and turn the frittata in the pan on the stove top, but I like to cook the bottom using a cast iron skillet on the stove top and then cook the top by placing the pan under the broiler until it firms up and browns a bit.

I served mini-poppy seed muffins with the frittata and we called it dinner!

Frittata ready to serve

Frittata ready to serve

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Love in a Crust -- Turtle Torte

Love in a Crust -- Turtle Torte

Every year for the past five years or so, El Guapo has made me this Turtle Torte for Valentine’s Day.  It’s a recipe he developed and has been perfecting over the years and is featured in the new Sans Gluten, S’il Vous Plait!  book, Gluten Free Celebrations.  We are having it a little late this year, as the big day (Valentine’s Day, that is) was spent watching Cheerleader’s Cheer team compete and win 5th place at State!  Also, on Thursday and Friday, watched Sunshine’s cheer team compete at L.E.S.T. (which stands for Lutheran Elementary Schools Tournament) and win 3rd; plus Sunshine’s drama team took 3rd.  A good weekend, even if it did cause the Torte to be late.  (In fact, if you look closely, you might notice that this is actually a picture of last year’s Torte, but I looked in the fridge and this year’s looks exactly the same).

All we need is love, love, love . . .

All we need is love, love, love . . .

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Cinnamon Imperial Bark

Cinnamon Imperial Bark

I decided to make Valentine’s treats for Cheerleader and Sunshine this year instead of buying an heart-shaped box filled with fake chocolate.  Sunshine really loves Peppermint Bark and I had a container full of crushed candy canes left over from the 8th Grade Christmas Party that was cancelled because of snow.  So, even though you could argue that Peppermint Bark is more of a Christmas treat, Sunshine is getting her very own batch for Valentine’s Day.

Cheerleader loves Cinnamon Imperials (or Red Hots) and once before I made a batch of Cinnamon Imperial Bark that I found in a magazine.  That particular recipe just used Dark Chocolate and Cinnamon Imperials, but I decided to make it this time using both White and Dark Chocolate.  Now Cheerleader has her own batch of Cinnamon Imperial Bark for Valentine’s Day!

I used the same technique as I did back in December Peppermint Bark but with a couple of changes.  This time I made sure the Dark Chocolate on the bottom was sufficiently cooled (more solid than not), and I used a couple of drops of Peppermint Oil in the White Chocolate before mixing in the crushed Candy Canes.  For the Cinnamon Imperial Bark, I omitted the Peppermint Oil and dumped about 1/2 Cup Cinnamon Imperials into the White Chocolate.

Sweets for the Sweet

Sweets for the Sweet

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Oriental "Chicken" Salad

Oriental "Chicken" Salad

On nights that El Guapo is not home for dinner, the girls and I traditionally have a “Daddy’s Not Home” Salad and Muffins.  Not that El Guapo doesn’t like Salad and Muffins — it’s just that it isn’t enough food for him.

So, tonight is El Guapo’s Spanish Class night, and when I asked Cheerleader what she wanted for dinner, she said a “Daddy’s Not Home” Salad and Muffins!

Normally I make a salad with fried Spam or some Tuna, Hard Boiled Egg and Cheese, plus some homemade dressing.  But I have had a block of Tofu in the fridge that I wanted to use.  So, I suggested to Cheerleader that I marinate and bake the Tofu and use it on the Salad.  She thought that sounded great, but agreed that we needed to come up with something else to call it since Sunshine is a little stubborn about Tofu.  So we decided we would call it Oriental “Chicken” Salad.  I found a recipe on-line that I modified to marinate the Tofu in:

Marinating the Tofu

Marinating the Tofu

I mixed 1/2 Cup Tamari Sauce; 2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil; 1 Tbsp. Sugar; and 1 scant tsp. Chinese 5-Spice.  I poured the marinade into a glass 9 x 12 pan and sprinkled crushed Red Peppers and Black Pepper over it.  Then I cut the Tofu into strips and placed them in the marinade.  I turned the strips once and let them marinate over night.  Today, I baked them at 350 degrees for one hour, turned them and gave them another 20 minutes.  They are crisp and dark. 

 I added the Tofu, some Egg, Carrots, Green Onions, and Peas to the Spinach and Lettuce Salad.  Then I made the dressing from a recipe given to me by a friend.

Mix together 1/2 Cup Sugar; 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch; 1/4 Cup Water; 1/4 Cup Olive Oil; 1/4 Cup Ketchup; 3 Tbsp. Cider Vinegar; and 1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce (gluten-free).  Bring mixture to a boil and cook for two minutes or until it thickens.  Cool before serving over salad.

Dressing for Oriental "Chicken" Salad

Dressing for Oriental "Chicken" Salad

When I serve the Salad tonight, I will sprinkle a few Cashews over each serving and then drizzle the dressing over.  We are having Zucchini Muffins with the Salad (not that I think Zucchini Muffins w/chocolate chips are the best choice to serve with Oriental “Chicken” Salad, it’s just that that is what I happen to have in the freezer!).

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Chicken Soup with Rice

Chicken Soup with Rice

Chicken Soup with Rice for dinner tonight!  Actually, I made the soup and rice two days ago and it was a rerun tonight — but it always seems to taste better after sitting for a day or so.

When we first found out years ago that Sunshine was gluten-intolerant, I used to make Chicken Noodle Soup using Rice Noodles, but somehow that wasn’t right.  Then I remembered how much I had loved Campbell’s Chicken and Rice Soup, so I used rice instead of noodles.  It took several trys to get it right, however.  The first time, I put the dry rice into the soup and cooked it — big mistake.  The cooking rice used up all the available liquid in the Soup and we had mush.  So then I tried cooking the rice first and dumping it into the soup.  Not much better.  Cooked rice still absorbs a lot of liquid.  So here is what I do now.  I cook my Chicken Soup in the crockpot, adding whichever vegetables and herbs seem good and are available.  Then I make rice in my rice cooker.  When we are ready to eat, I put a good sized scoop of Rice in a bowl and pour Chicken Soup over it.  Voila!  Chicken Soup with Rice.

Here is a pre-Valentine’s Day picture to enjoy!

Pink Frosted Heart

Pink Frosted Heart

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Gluten-free Bhaturas

Gluten-free Bhaturas

I made a lentil/spinach dhal for dinner tonight and decided to make some Bhaturas to go with it.  I’ve made these before, but for some reason, tonight they turned out especially well.  Light and puffy, just like the real thing!

4 1/2 tsp. Yeast

1 tsp. Sugar

1/2 Cup warm Water

2 Cups Sans Gluten, SVP Gluten-Free Flour Blend

1 1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Butter

2 Tbsp. Plain natural Yogurt

Olive oil for frying

1.  Mix the Yeast, Sugar and Water and allow to proof.

2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the Flour Blend, Xanthan Gum and Salt.  Cut in the Butter.

3.  Add the Yeast mixture and Yogurt.  Using the dough hook, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.    Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to sit for one hour.

4.  Divide dough into six pieces and roll out between two pieces of plastic wrap until they are very thin.

5.  Heat oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in a frying pan and slide one bhatura into the oil.  Fry for about 1 minute, turn and fry the other side for about 1 minute.  Drain on a paper towel and keep warm.  Serve  warm.

See how puffy and nice they got!

Bhatura puffing in the fry pan

Bhatura puffing in the fry pan

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