Monday, April 30, 2012

3 Ingredients Strawberry Jam

Strawberries are in season! Whenever I think of Strawberries, I remember being 12 years old in Tualatin Oregon. I worked all summer picking berries at a local farm to save up money for "cool" school clothes. My Dad was a Pastor of a church and he was a great provider, but things were always tight and I could not expect name brand clothing, it just was not going to happen unless it was a hand me down. Well I am very very tall. Hand me downs just don't work. Not when you are going into later elementary or middle school years. I was teased really bad. So I decided to save up and buy a couple cute outfits from my earnings. At then end of the season I proudly put my earnings in my purse, I had a le sports sac purse that I used. I remember it like it was yesterday. We got to the store and I needed to use the restroom. Well... to make a long story short, I forgot my purse in the bathroom. By the time I remembered, someone had already taken it. Full of cash. My entire earnings. Gone. I went to customer service, and security, but I knew no one would turn it in. So I set off for another year of teasing and hand me downs. It was a great learning experience. I sure have not left anything anywhere since. Whenever Strawberries come into season, and it is time for jam making, this story will always come to mind. Thanks to my sisters awesome recipe finding skills, You can make awesome freezer jam in less than 30 minutes with just 3 ingredients. With Ball® RealFruit™ Instant Pectin 
There is no cooking needed. It is so fast and easy and makes really yummy freezer jam. Here is how I make it.

4 cups puree'd Strawberries
1 package quick pectin
1 1/2 cup sugar

I put all 3 ingredients in a blender and puree for several minutes. Pour into freezer safe jar and freeze until you are ready to serve it. We like ours right out of the freezer. Yummy!

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Benihana's Fried Rice recipe

I remember the days we could take Taylor to one of her favorite spots for Hibachi. Benihana's. We used to go there after church on Sundays, but that was before her diagnosis. No more Benihanas for Taylor. Cooking everything on one surface is a recipe for disaster for her now. It is ok though. Because I can make the items for her at home easily. Their fried rice has always been a favorite in this house. I love to keep some in the fridge because it reheats nicely for a quick meal option. 
Benihana Fried Rice recipe
naturally gluten free
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1 TBSP chopped green onions
2 cups cooked rice
1 tsp salt
2 TBSP butter
4 eggs
2 tsp canola oil
1 chicken breast, cooked
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/2 tsp  pepper
1/4 cup braggs amino acids or gluten free soy sauce
Scramble eggs and chop after cooking. Saute chopped onion, green onion and carrots until done and mix with chopped scrambled egg and chicken. mix cooked rice with vegetable, egg and chicken mixture. Add sesame seeds and salt and pepper. Stir in cream butter and soy sauce into the mixture and serve.
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Saturday, April 28, 2012

DIY Margarita Hand and Body Scrub

Those who do not suffer from Celiac or gluten intolerance might find it hard to believe that Hair, Skin, and Nail products often contain wheat. It can be really difficult to find ones to buy that are safe for my daughter. I am slowly learning how to make products at home so that Taylor can feel like a normal teenage girl. My friend also has a great site that sells gluten free beauty products

Here is a quick DIY Margarita Body Scrub Recipe.  There is no alcohol in it, but the mixture of lime and salt makes it smell like a Margarita, so that is why I call it that. 

2 1/2 Coarse Sea Salt
1 Cup Grapeseed Oil
5 Tablespoons Lime Juice
1 TBSP Lime Zest 

Mix 2 1/2 Cups of Coarse Sea Salt with 1 Cup Grapeseed Oil and 5 Tablespoons Lime Juice. Mix well. 
Fill your Mason Jar and decorate as you wish. I keep one next to my kitchen sink now and scrub down after a long day of cooking. It is lovely!

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Friday, April 27, 2012

8 Layer Dip

Today I am posting something a little different than I normally do. When I make Mexican food, there is always a bit leftover of everything. Black Beans, Salsa, Guac etc... I am going to show you how easy it is to make leftovers into the best Mexican dip you have had. You can plan ahead if you have an upcoming party or event that you need to bring a dish. Then you get a dinner and your dish to take. Here is how I make mine. 

Gluten Free 8 Layer Dip

Layer 1: Black Bean Dip
Layer 2: Seasoned Ground Beef
Layer 3: Salsa or Pico De Gallo
Layer 4: Sliced Lettuce
Layer 5: Guacamole
Layer 6: Sour Cream
Layer 7: Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Layer 8: Sliced Green Onions

Refrigerate until you are ready to serve. I serve mine with a plate of warm tortilla chips.

This makes a really great lunch to pack for your gluten Free Child or Spouse. 
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gluten Free Sinful Chocolate Layer Mousse Cake

 Gluten Free Sinful Chocolate Layer Mousse Cake
Oh my goodness. Do I have a recipe for you. I am not sure how to express how rich, decadent and lovely this cake is. It melts in your mouth. My husband who is a self proclaimed cake hater, devoured it.*Enter moaning noises here* He kept saying "Oh my goodness". Taylor and I savored every single bite. I have had this recipe on my radar for quite some time, but there are so many steps, that I kept putting it off. Finally my urge for chocolate overcame my fear of getting it wrong and I made it. I know it looks scary ... the recipe I mean. It isn't. Just take it one step at a time. It is well worth it. Better than any layer cake I have ever had. Worth every single step.  The steps are not hard, you just can't skip one if you want it to turn out right. I could eat a huge bowl of just the mousse alone.  I wish the night would have allowed me to get a better picture. By the time it was ready it was 8pm and there was no natural light to be found. I hope you get a chance to make this sinful cake. You will be talking about it for years to come!

Chocolate Mousse Filling
addapted from Pure Chocolate
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup Frangelico hazelnut liqueur
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 66% cacao), finely chopped 
1 cup heavy cream, chilled

In a heat safe bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is uniform and light in color. Place over a double boiler and whisk until slightly thickened. A ribbon of the egg sugar mixture should flow back into the bowl when the whisk is lifted and the sugar should just be beginning to dissolve. Add the Frangelico (or water) and then continue to whisk over the simmering water until the mixture hits roughly 160°F and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and add the finely chopped chocolate. Mix until all the chocolate is dissolved. 

Set the chocolate aside and beat the heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold the cream into the chocolate, then cover and chill for 4 hours. 

 Gluten Free Sinful Chocolate Cake

cake adapted from NotSoHumblePie

2 3/4 cups Sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup boiling water

1 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 packet starbucks Via Coffee

1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
4 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
non-stick spray

Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and set a baking stone on it.

You'll need two 9" or two 8"cake pans for this cake. Spray  two 9" or two 8"cake pans with non-stick spray oil and then line them with parchment then spray the parchment with even more non-stick spray. I ran out of parchment and had to use foil.

In a medium sauce pan, combine the sugar, dutch processed cocoa, salt and baking soda. Stir with a whisk until combined and then slowly add the boiling water while whisking.  Once throughly mixed, place the sauce pan over medium-high heat and bring back to a boil. Then remove from heat and allow to stand for 10 minutes. This mixture should turn really really dark.

While waiting on the chocolate mixture, measure out the flour, buttermilk and separate the eggs. Add the oil and vanilla to the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment.

When the chocolate mixture is ready, stir in the instant espresso powder. Add the chocolate mixture to your stand mixer and mix on low speed for about 20 seconds. Add the flour and continue to mix on low until combined. With a minimum amount of beating, add the egg yolks, eggs, and buttermilk. 

Divide the batter between your two pans and place in the oven on your baking stone. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the center of the cake springs back when you touch it. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Run a thin knife around the edge of the cake to loosen and invert onto a flat dish lined with parchment. 

Allow to cool completely then wrap the rounds individually in plastic and place in the refrigerator to chill before assembling. 

Assemble your cake by placing one round onto your serving platter. Spread the mousse to form an even layer on top of the cake. Top with the second cake round, touching up the sides with an offset spatula if necessary. Place the cake in the refrigerator to keep cool and prepare the ganache. 

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped 
1/3 cup heavy cream 
1 tablespoon butter

Measure out the chocolate into a bowl. Bring the butter and heavy cream to a low boil over medium-high heat and pour over the chocolate. Give the chocolate a shake to submerge and allow to stand for 5 minutes without stirring. When the time has passed, then you may gently stir the ganache until smooth.

Pour the ganache onto the cake, smoothing over the top with an offset spatula. Return the cake to the fridge and allow the ganache to cool.

When cool, you can put the finishing touches on the cake. Take the reserved chocolate mouse and fill a piping bag, fitted with a large star tip. Drop 6-8 splotches of mousse around the perimeter of the cake and top with chocolate covered coffee beans or malted milk balls.
Keep the cake chilled until ready to serve. Then allow to stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Store the cake in the refrigerator.

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