This is by far the easiest gluten-free dessert I’ve ever made! Almost easier than opening a prepackaged mix. You only need two dishes to make this; a mixing bowl and a baking pan and you are ready to go. Start to finish, your cake will be ready in under 45 minutes!
I tried to cut down on the sugar since 1 cup seemed like a lot. I started adding it 1/4 cup at a time. I’m not sure if it was the cocoa powder or the gluten-free flour, but found that I definitely needed the whole cup. This cake is extremely rich and chocolatey. I ended up freezing about three-quarters of the loaf (I made mine in a loaf pan, not a cake pan). The slice I’ve defrosted since was just as good as the freshly baked. I think making this recipe into cupcakes, might make freezing a bit easier.
Super Simple Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix (I used Better Batter.)
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon guar gum or 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (only not included in GF flour mix)
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 5 Tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 Tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 cup water
- Heat oven to 350°F
- Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Add all liquid ingredients and mix well.
- Bake in greased and floured nine-inch square pan (or lined with waxed paper) for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Serve as is or with some berries and cream for extra indulgence.
Posted in Baking, Cake, Cooking, Desserts, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged baking, chocolate, cooking, dessert, gluten free, recipes, vegetarian
My girlfriend Kelly made this absolutely amazing asparagus appetizers (I love alliteration!) for our last book club meeting. They were delicious! And so simple. I made them at home for a little Monday evening aperitivo. These are definitely a great bite for a last-minute wine and cheese party and definitely worthy of sharing with guest. Next time I have a dinner party, these will be on the menu. I’m actually kind of looking for any excuse to make these again.
You can use any soft, spreadable cheese. I would avoid cream cheese, but any other soft cheese should work. I think Boursin would be amazing.
Making this appetizer into a side dish would be very easy to do. I would leave the prosciutto slice whole and wrap it around 3-5 pieces of asparagus and cook them the same way (maybe a minute or two longer). I think it would make for a really tasty side dish, but I really like how the individual spears of asparagus and prosciutto get super crispy.
Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Wrapped Asparagus
- Asparagus spears, washed and trimmed
- Soft goat cheese, at room temperature
- Prosciutto, each slice cut into 3 pieces
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F degrees.
- Spread the goat cheese on each slice of prosciutto.
- Wrap each asparagus spear in a 1/3 slice of prosciutto and goat cheese.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes, until warm and starting to crisp.
- Serve and become the hit of the party!
Posted in Appetizer, Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes
Tagged Appetizer, asparagus, cooking, food, gluten free, goat cheese, recipes
I have to say successfully making this Pavlova was one of my finest moments in the kitchen. I remember thinking Pavlova was the fanciest dessert ever when I was growing up. But for as long as I can remember, the thought of making meringue has scared me. There are too many variables in meringue making and the fact that something can go wrong at any point in the process just stresses me out. I spent quite a bit of time reading old cookbooks and consulting the websites of chefs I trust for learning something new. The end result was a smashing success. I was so proud!
I made this a bit earlier in the summer for my wonderful mother’s birthday, so depending on where you are peaches and cherries might not be at the peak. As far as fruit selection goes, you can’t really go wrong. Personally, I would stick to berries and stone fruits, but there are endless combinations that would be delicious.
For the Pavlova
- 4 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white wine or distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Fruit Topping
- 2-3 cups of mixed berries or fruits of choice.
For the Pavlova
- Preheat oven to 250°F (130°C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a 7 inch (18 cm) circle on the paper.
- Pour the vanilla and vinegar into a small cup. Stir the cornstarch into the sugar in a small bowl.
- In a large bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, fitted with whisk attachment, whip egg whites and salt, starting on low, increasing incrementally to medium speed until soft peaks/trails start to become visible, and the egg white bubbles are very small and uniform, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
- Increase speed to medium-high, slowly and gradually sprinkling in the sugar-cornstarch mixture. A few minutes after these dry ingredients are added, slowly pour in the vanilla and vinegar (if you didn’t use cream of tartar.) Increase speed a bit and whip until meringue is glossy, and stiff peaks form when the whisk is lifted, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Gently spread the meringue inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper, smoothing the edges, making sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher than the center. (You want a slight well in the center of the meringue to place the whipped cream and fruit.)
- Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the outside is dry and takes on a very pale cream color. Check on meringues at least once during the baking time. If they appear to be taking on color or cracking, reduce temperature 25 degrees, and turn pan around. Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven. (The outside of the meringue will feel firm to the touch, if gently pressed, but as it cools you will get a little cracking and you will see that the inside is soft and marshmallowy.)
For the Whipped Cream
- Whip the cream in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. When it starts to thicken, add the sugar gradually and then the vanilla, beating the cream until firm. Be careful not to over-do it, or might end up with a bowl of sweet homemade butter.
- Invert the meringue disk onto a plate and spread the top completely with sweetened whipped cream. Spoon the fruit carefully into the middle of the Pavlova, leaving a border of cream and meringue.
Posted in Baking, Cooking, Desserts, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged cherries, cooking, dessert, food, fruit, gluten free, meringue, peaches, recipes
So, I am meant to be galavanting around San Francisco at the moment, but I thought that getting strep throat and an ear infection sounded like a much better use of my time. I was put on antibiotics and instructed not to fly by my favorite Urgent Care doctor, so I am still home, suffering through coughing fits, runny noses and disgustingly hot weather. There is a small silver lining to being stuck at home; I get to celebrate my darling pups’ 12th birthday!
It is extremely hot and humid here at the moment. Heat is fairly normal for this time of year, but humidity is not. As much as I love my dogs, there was no chance I was turning on the oven to bake them pup cakes. Since I was suffering through the heat, I knew that the poor dogs were too, ice cream seemed like the perfect birthday treat. I have purchased Frosty Paws from one of the local fancy pants grocery stores in the past, but now I’m older, wiser, poorer, so making my own was the only way to go.
I will admit, I did sample the recipe before I put the treats in the freezer and the mix was fairly delicious. Another reason I like these homemade treats compared to store-bought, no strange ingredients or preservatives. I used Greek yogurt, local honey, bananas, and all natural (no salt or sugar added) peanut butter. If I liked bananas, I could definitely imagine eating this for breakfast.
And most importantly, these frozen treats get two paws up and some very excited tail wags from the birthday girls. I attempted to get these two brats to take a picture together, but it proved futile. I think they caught on to the fact that the less they cooperated, the more ice cream they would get in an attempt to bribe them. These two are now both old and wise; 12 should be a doozy of a year.
Homemade Frosty Paws (aka Doggie Ice Cream)
- 32 ounces plain Greek yogurt
- 1 banana, ripe, mashed
- 2 Tablespoons all-natural peanut butter
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- Blend all ingredients together in a food processor. Freeze in ice cube trays (highly recommend silicone/soft trays).
- When frozen solid, remove from ice cube trays and transfer to freezer storage bags and store in freezer.
Posted in Cooking, Dogs, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged bananas, cooking, dogs, food, gluten free, honey, ice cream, peanut butter, recipes, yogurt
My wonderful friend Zack sent me this recipe last week and told me to “stop what I was doing and make this”. Zack and I have fairly similar palates, so I had a feeling that I would like this salad. I didn’t just like this salad, I loved it. I have yet to find a combination of cilantro and lime that I dislike, so I might not be the most neutral judge, but this salad was pretty close to perfect. Chickpeas make a really great neutral base, which allows the other flavors to really shine through.
I ended up accidentally doubling recipe. I was trying to use up some use it or lose it spinach, which ended up being way more than the originally suggested four cups. It turned out to be a fortunate accident since I had leftovers for days. I upped the amount of garlic and took it easier on the olive oil. I also omitted the sugar the original recipe called for, but that’s just a personal preference. I never add sugar to any type of dressing.
Cilantro Lime Chickpea Salad
- 4 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 6 loosely packed cups fresh spinach
- 1 onion, chopped diced
- juice from 8 limes
- 1 bunch of cilantro (about loosely packed cup)
- 4 Tablespoons dijon mustard
- 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3/4 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Chop the spinach very finely (feel free to use a food processor and pulse 3-4 times). Add the chickpeas, onion, and spinach to a large bowl.
- In the same food processor add the lime juice, cilantro, mustard, garlic, chili powder, and olive oil. Blend until it comes together into a dressing, about 30-45 seconds.
- Pour over the chickpea mixture and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for at least 15 minutes on the counter (or overnight in the fridge) to let the flavors get friend.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, Salad, Side Dish, Vegan, vegetarian
Tagged chickpeas, cooking, food, gluten free, recipes, salad, spinach, vegan, vegetarian
I made these in an attempt to use up some summer fruits that were rapidly approaching their use or lose stage. There are endless summer fruit combinations you can use, so go wild. I think strawberries and peaches go together amazingly, but I could imagine raspberries, blueberries, pluots, apricots and all sorts of other fruits working perfectly.
These pancakes are perfect for brunch! If I was making these for a weekend brunch, I would definitely add a glug of bourbon to the pan when you add in the peaches, just to give it an extra decadent, boozy, brunchy feel.
I will say, I had a hard time getting these pancakes to cook through, hence the crispy looking edges. I think I was being slightly impatient with heating my pan (there really is only so long a girl can wait for breakfast after spin class…), so I had to
sacrifice give a few utter failures to my official tasters (aka the pups). The crispy edges did not have a burnt flavor, which was lucky, just a different texture.
Gluten Free Strawberry Ricotta Pancakes with SautÃ©ed Peaches
For the Pancakes:
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup (145g) full fat ricotta cheese
- 1 Tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup (100g) rice flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (125ml) milk
- 6-10 strawberries (depending on size)
For the Sautéed Peaches:
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 large, fresh peaches, thinly sliced
- A generous dash of nutmeg
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, ricotta, oil and milk until smooth.
- Stir in all the remaining ingredients, except for the strawberries, and mix until smooth.
- Gently fold the strawberries into the mixture until all are incorporated.
- Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add a small knob of butter (about 1/2 teaspoon) until quite hot. Pour a ladleful of pancake batter onto the pan and cook. Reduce the temperature to medium at this stage, you don't want crunchy pancakes! Once little bubbles begin to appear in the top of the pancake, it is ready to flip. Cook it until the pancake is firm through.
- Transfer to a warmed plate/oven. Repeat with remaining pancake mixture, re-buttering the pan every couple of pancakes.
- In the same pan, melt the unsalted butter over medium heat. Stir in sugar.
- Add peaches and nutmeg. Cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved and peaches are warmed through and coated, 2 to 5 minutes.
- Put the pancakes onto the serving plates, top with peaches and serve immediately.
Posted in Breakfast, Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged breakfast, brunch, cooking, food, gluten free, peaches, recipes, strawberries, vegetarian
At the beginning of my summer break I managed to squeeze in a few quick trips to visit some friends. A long, relaxing weekend in San Francisco and a quick cross-country jaunt to Washington, DC. I first had this salad at Granville Moore’s on H Street. It was a delightful start of a delicious meal.
DC was hot and humid (aka gross), but the muggy weather helped to make this salad even more enjoyable. The icy cold watermelon is perfect anytime during the summer, but paired with the peppery arugula and crunchy pickled onions it was even sweeter and more delicious.
Watermelon & Feta Salad with Pickled Onions & Dill Vinaigrette
For the Pickled Onions:
- 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
For the Vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 5 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad:
- 3 cups arugula
- 3 cups of baby spinach
- 2 cups cubed watermelon, well chilled
- 1/2 cup pickled onions (drained)
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, or more to taste
- Start preparing the onions. Whisk first 3 ingredients and 1 cup water in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Place onion in a jar; pour vinegar mixture over. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Cover and chill. Drain onions before using.
- Next prepare the vinaigrette. In a food processor, combine the oil, vinegar, dill weed, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, dry mustard and pepper. Blend until smooth, cover and refrigerate until chilled.
- When the onions and vinaigrette are ready, prepare the salad. Arrange the arugula and spinach on a serving platter. Scatter the pickled onions over the top, followed by about half of the crumbled feta, then the watermelon cubes, and finally the remaining feta. Use a spoon to drizzle dill vinaigrette over the salad immediately before serving.
Posted in Cooking, Dinner, Food, Gluten-free, Recipes, Salad, Side Dish, vegetarian
Tagged cooking, dressing, food, gluten free, onions, recipes, salad, vegetarian, vinegar, watermelon
I think this salad is a perfect for any 4th of July picnic or barbecue. Not only are the colors fun and spot on for the holiday, the ingredients are absolutely fantastic together! The salty blue cheese, earthy quinoa and sweet blueberries each bring great flavors that manage to complement each other perfectly.
I used balsamic raspberry vinegar, which unfortunately muddled the color of the quinoa and blue cheese a bit. I know if I used a lighter vinegar (white wine, cider) the color would be perfect. I also found the raspberry balsamic to be a bit too sweet for my personal taste. The tangy blue cheese helped tone it down slightly, but I think I would try a less sweet vinegar next time.
Red, White & Blue(berry) Quinoa Salad
For the Dressing:
- 5 Tablespoons balsamic raspberry vinegar (or vinegar of choice)
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
- 1 cup uncooked red quinoa
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or water)
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- 8 ounces fresh raspberries
- 8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- 3 Tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
- Before cooking the quinoa, soak it in some cold water (about 20 minutes) to rinse off some of its natural bitterness.
- Add quinoa and broth to small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until all the broth has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender (about 15 minutes).
- While the quinoa is cooking, mix the dressing together and set aside.
- Add the blue cheese, chives and place this in with all the blueberries into a large bowl.
- Once you drain the quinoa, cool it off till it is slightly warm or room temperature and pour the raspberry vinaigrette and mix that through.
- Let the quinoa cool down some more before mixing in the cheese, blueberries and chives (otherwise your blue cheese will melt.)
- Gently fold in raspberries before serving, being careful not to smush them.
Posted in Cooking, Food, Gluten-free, Holidays, Recipes, Salad, Side Dish
Tagged blue cheese, blueberry, cheese, cooking, food, gluten free, quinoa, recipes, salad, side dish, vegetarian