September 12, 2016

Flourless Chocolate Cake




You're looking at the reason my diet isn't going well.   My husband had a hankering for a piece of chocolate cake, so I indulged him and made this.  The great thing is that it's gluten free because it's completely flourless.  The bad thing is that it tastes amazing.  Like, thank goodness it's pretty rich or I would have eaten the whole thing myself, amazing. 

Don't confuse Gluten Free with healthy.  Just because there isn't any flour doesn't make this health food. 


It's obviously a different texture than cake.  But, because you're not substituting other flours for the wheat flour you already sort of have the expectation of a texture difference.  Instead, it's creamy all over.  It's smooth, chocolaty, and rich.  It's sort of like eating a big chocolate chip. 

Then, you add the chocolate ganashe on top (which I topped with mini chocolate chips) and it takes you into a chocolate induced coma. 


My family LOVED this cake.  In fact, I sent a piece over to my neighbor, so she made it, and her family loved it too. I'm loving all the flourless recipes I've found on Pinterest.
Grab a big glass of your favorite milk and a little piece of this heaven on a plate and enjoy!

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Recipe from Melanie Cooks


Ingredients
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp espresso powder (optional)
Chocolate Ganache
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375º
  2. Use a 9 inch round cake pan. Spray with non-stick spray, then line with a piece of parchment paper that has been cut to fit the bottom of the cake pan. Then spray the top of the parchment paper.
  3. Put the butter and the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute, stir and keep heating in 30 second increments until smooth. This can also be done over low heat in a saucepan.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into a mixing bowl and add the sugar, eggs, cocoa powder and espresso powder if using. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen, then put a plate on the top of the cake pan and flip the cake over quickly.
  8. Peel off and discard the parchment paper.
  9. Now make the ganache. Heat the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking until smooth.
  10. Pour over the still warm cake and use a knife to cover it completely.
  11. Refrigerate the cake for at least an hour before cutting.

September 6, 2016

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate-Chip Cookies



I'm totally digging flourless recipes.  I can't tell you how much easier they are to make, and they taste amazing, and they are gluten free. I've recently jumped on the Gluten Free bandwagon (not 100%, but I'm about 95% there) and I'm loving how much less bloated I feel.  The only hard part for me has been the comparisons to standard bread products and gluten free since they are different flour flavors and textures. I just need to get used to it.  That's why I'm loving the flourless recipes.  There isn't anything to "get used to" because the flavor of whatever you're baking are just more intense.

For example, this peanut butter chocolate chip cookie has great peanut butter flavor.  You don't get the chewy cookie that you might with a regular flour recipe but they're still moist with a tiny bit of chewiness around the edge.  I love them.

This is the second recipe I've made that was flourless.  I'll post the first one I made soon but I have loved them both so much.  Don't get me wrong, just because they don't have any flour doesn't make them healthy.  But if you're gluten free, sometimes you just want a great tasting treat.

I'd eat these flourless desserts even if I wasn't trying to avoid gluten, they are that good.


Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate-Chip Cookies
Recipe from Southern Living


Ingredients
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. Mix the peanut butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until smooth.
  3. Use a cookie scoop or two spoons to dollop dough onto the cookie sheet about 2" apart.
  4. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

August 31, 2016

Apple Cinnamon Fruit Leather


It's finally apple season, my favorite time of the year is beginning.  I love fall.  I love everything about it. I especially love apple season. My biggest problem is that I go to the mountains and I pick a bunch, and then I'm having so much fun that I pick more.  So I end up with a ton of apples and I come home and bake, bake, bake. 

So, here is one thing I've made recently that I absolutely fell in love with.  Fruit leather.  You know, like the kind you had as a kid in your lunch box. It does take a little time but it's well worth it. The process it totally easy and if you can be patient you will be rewarded.  This fruit leather was so good. The same texture that you might be used to from the box we had as kids, but the flavor was so much better.  Mine didn't even make it off the try to be cut and wrapped and saved for later.  It was gone in like 10 minutes. 

Time to make more. 

Apple Cinnamon Fruit Leather
Recipe from Real Mom Nutrition


Ingredients
  • 4 cups apples, washed, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Cooking Directions
  1. Put the prepared apples into a medium sized sauce pan and add the water. Cook at a simmer for about 10 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add the cinnamon and sugar and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour mixture into a blender and puree until smooth.
  4. Pour onto a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with sides that has a silpat over it. It is vital that you get the mixture in a thin even layer on the pan. This will ensure it all dry's evenly.
  5. Bake at 170º for 2-3 hours or until dry.

August 23, 2016

Gluten Free Apple Cranberry Pie



Recently, my husband and I decided to try a Gluten Free diet.  Purely for experimental purposes.  Turns out, my husband has had amazing results.  He hasn't had any of the Asthma problems he usually has on a daily basis.  No inhaler needed for weeks. I haven't been on it as long so I haven't noticed anything yet but we'll see.

Anyways, we've gotten a couple of cookbooks to help us out and we've tried a couple of great recipes lately. Some of you might be wondering what Gluten is exactly.  Well here you go:
  1. a substance present in cereal grains, especially wheat, that is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. A mixture of two proteins, it causes illness in people with celiac disease.

So, Gluten can also just be a sensitivity in some people which apparently it is in my husband and switching to non-gluten items is pretty easy. It's such a common problem now that there are Gluten Free items available everywhere. There might even be a "Gluten Free" section of your grocery store.

I did have to run out and get some new items to bake this pie but they are items I'll use over and over in the future.

The Pie was wonderful.  The flavor was just what you'd expect with the added benefit of those chewy cranberries.  The crust was a little difficult to work with.  It crumbled easier then a normal crust so I needed up adding a little water and making sure it was really cold before trying to work with it. Make sure your rolling pin is well gluten-free floured up. After moving most of it to the pie plate I ended up just pressing pieces into the dish to make a complete pie crust.  It worked well in the end, just be aware that it's much more crumbly. The flavor is great however, similar to a regular pie crust but the texture is more on the crumbly side as I just mentioned. I used Gala apples but you can use whatever apples you want, just adjust the sugar based on how sweet the apple is.

Gluten Free Apple Cranberry Pie


Ingredients

Filling
  • 6 medium apples - peeled, cored and sliced
  • 3/4 to 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
Crust
  • 2 cups Gluten Free all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup cold butter
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cider vinegar
Cooking Directions
  1. Make the dough first, so there's time to chill it. Add the first 6 ingredients to a bowl and use a pastry cutter to blend it until only small pieces of butter remain.
  2. Make a whole in the center and add the eggs and vinegar, mix together just until incorporated.
  3. Cut into two equal pieces and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
  4. When the dough is chilled, start preheating the oven to 425º
  5. In a large bowl mix the filling ingredients and stir together so it's all coated.
  6. Roll out one of the crusts on a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/4 thick and place in the pie dish. I found it easier to just press the dough into the dish since the dough can be crumbly.
  7. Add the apple filling on top of the dough and then top with the other piece of dough that has been rolled out.
  8. Cut the dough to allow for ventilation.
  9. Bake at 425º for 12 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350º and bake for 30-40 minutes. Check the apples to make sure they have softened.

August 16, 2016

Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Bread



Every now and then my husband and I try a new diet, or a new way of eating just to see if we like it or if it makes any difference in our general health.  Currently my husband is trying out a Gluten Free lifestyle, and therefore, so are the rest of us. 

So far it's been pretty easy because I haven't baked anything in a while anyway and pasta's are easy enough to find in any grocery store.  It wasn't until I happened to notice the banana's on the counter looking a little dark that I decided to give a gluten free banana bread a try.  I already had all the ingredients so it was easy. 

If gluten free it new to you, your grocery store might have a section already dedicated to gluten free items which makes life so much easier. 

This recipe is easy to throw together.  The bread doesn't rise much to don't expect a big loaf here.  But the flavor is very good.  It's soft, full of banana and chocolate flavor and not overly dense.  I love that the sweetness from the banana's came through so no sugar is needed.  I have to be honest, that surprised me a bit.  Sometimes you try a no sugar recipe and you can definitely tell, but not on this one. Definitely a great gluten free recipe that I'll be making again. 

Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
Recipe from AmbitiousKitchen


Ingredients
  • 3 medium (1 1/4 cup) ripe banana's, mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (diary free if needed)
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray, then line with parchment paper and spray again.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the banana's, vanilla extract and almond butter and mix well.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients mix until combined.
  5. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle, comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 20 minutes before removing from the loaf pan.

August 3, 2016

Creamy Crock-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala


At times during my life I've been one of those well organized people who plans dinner, makes the grocery list and only buys what I need. 

I'm not that person right now. 

We basically decide what we're having for dinner while we're eating lunch. Don't be like me. 

Luckily, this recipe was pretty easy to throw together into a slow cooker and have ready in 4 hours. My husband chose this recipe from Pinterest.  Since he rarely gets to be the one to choose the recipe I'm gonna make I jumped on this one.  Finally something new and good for you!

We both loved this recipe.  Ton's of flavor, most of the ingredients are in your pantry right now.  I did have to run out for a couple of items but overall I had most of it. I started cooking the rice (in the microwave) at the same time you begin to add the last couple of ingredients and it all came together at the same time.  

Obviously you don't have to serve with rice, it'll just depend on you personal tastes but I thought it was fantastic with rice. 

Creamy, tender chicken and the last minute addition of the lemon juice was perfect.  I didn't need salt at all, the lemon juice was perfect. 

If you're feeling adventurous tonight, you should give this recipe a try. Delicious! 

Creamy Crock-Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
Recipe from The Iron You


Ingredients
  • 2 pounds chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or full fat coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder or corn starch
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
Cooking Directions
  1. Place all the ingredients except the bay leaves, heavy cream, arrowroot powder and lemon juice in a bowl and mix together until the chicken is well coated.
  2. Rub the inside of your slow cooker with olive oil.
  3. Pour the ingredients into the slow cooker and place the bay leaves on top. Cook on low for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
  4. Mix the heavy cream with the arrowroot powder and then pour into the crock-pot and mix together. Cook for an additional 20 minutes.
  5. Pour in the lemon juice right before serving.

July 27, 2016

Guavaberry Colada



I was lucky enough to get to travel to St. Maarten at the end of March of this year, with my daughter. We fell in love with the island, the people, the food and especially the drinks.  Tropical drinks are my favorite anyway, I love fruit flavored drinks that you can't really taste the alcohol in.  I had several great drinks but I was only able to get the recipe for a couple of them.  This one was by far my favorite.

Now I'm kicking myself for only bringing back one bottle of this rum.  Is is SO good.  I was able to find some American locations that carry this rum but sadly none of them are near me.  I guess another trip to St. Maarten is necessary.  I wonder how many bottles I can bring back without getting arrested.

This drink is a little hard to describe unless you've had Guavaberry Rum.  It's sweet but not overly sweet, fruity but not necessarily a guava flavor as you might expect. It's sort of creamy due to the coconut cream. You don't necessarily taste the pineapple juice either, all the flavors just blend together so well that it's sort of a nondescript fruit flavor.  Sorry, that's the best I can describe it.

If you ever see a bottle of this rum, do yourself a favor and grab a bottle or six.

Guavaberry Colada
Recipe from Guavaberry.com


Ingredients
  • 2 oz. St. Maarten Guavaberry Rum
  • 1 oz. coconut cream
  • 3 oz. pineapple juice
  • ice
Cooking Directions
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with fresh pineapple