Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pear Torte


 
I mentioned yesterday that I had a bunch of fresh picked organic pears. I knew right away I wanted to make a delicious torte! This was a major success! So easy to make gluten-free using any good quality gluten-free flour. 

I shared with my neighbors and my husbands work, since I am still limiting any and all sugars. I got a thumbs up from all who tried it, and a couple people asking for the recipe. So here it is! 

Gluten-Free Pear Torte

Serves 8.


Crust:
1 1/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Manini's)
2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
8 TBSP unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp whipping cream

Pear filling:
4 large pears, sliced (peeling is optional)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 cup water


Prepared the fruit: Heat the water, cinnamon, and ginger together in a medium

saucepan until the water boils. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the pears. Simmer
for 3-4 minutes until the fruit is soft. Remove from heat and set aside.

Frangipane filling:
8 tbsps butter
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup almond paste
2 tsps lemon zest, fresh
1/4 cup ground almonds
2 egg whites, beaten foamy
confectioner’s sugar for dusting

First you must start by making the crust: 
Place the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and whipping cream to the dry ingredients. Pulse until it resembles wet sand. 



Place the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Using the plastic, gather the dough into a ball and press it together into a disc. 


Wrap with the plastic and refrigerate the dough for at least an hour. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured work surface. Press the dough into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Place the tart pan in the freezer for 30 minutes. 


Set the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, until the pastry turns golden brown. Let it cool until ready to use.


Next make the frangipane filling:Beat the butter, confectioner’s sugar, flour, almond paste, lemon zest, and ground almonds in a mixing bowl until smooth. Stir in the egg whites.


Preheat oven to 350°F
Assemble the tart: . 
Set the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet.

Spread the frangipane filling evenly over the baked crust, smoothing the top.
Arrange the fruit slices on the frangipane. 
Bake for 30 minute. Dust with confectioner’s sugar when the tart has cooled.
Carefully remove the sides of the torte pan and move to dish for serving.
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pear Butter


This past week I spent a few days with several of my close girlfriends. It was so nice to get out again and get in a lot of laughter! These ladies have been such a blessing to me! On the last day three of us went down and picked some pears from one of my friends pear trees. Lovely natural organic pears. 
So I was super happy to get busy in my kitchen creating a bunch of different pear dishes. Since they are in season, I will be sharing these recipes with you over the next few days. 

I started off with Pear Butter. So easy to make and so yummy! 

Pear Butter

10 pears, peeled, cored and cut quarters.
3/4  cup brown sugar (or agave or sucanat, you can also use 1/4 cup stevia if going for sugar free)
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of sea salt


Put all the ingredients into a crock pot (slow cooker). 
Cook on low heat for 4-6 hours. 
Remove the cinnamon stick, let cool slightly then puree to desired consistency. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Healthy easy lunch and snack cups

I had a nice little surprise from Musco Family Olive Company in my mail, so I wanted to tell you about them.
Introducing new Olives To Go

A tasty wholesome snack that is portable, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, cholesterol-free, and GMO-free. With added perks of being Vegan and only 40 calories
These tasty ready-to-eat, liquid-free, easy-to-open cups are filled with California-grown large pitted black ripe olives. 

A great easy, fast, no mess option to throw in your lunch bag, purse, sports bag, or just to have at your desk. 

Find out where to buy them HERE.

While I was provided a sample of these olives, all opinions on the product are my own. 




A Healthy Treat

Hi everyone! It is so good to be back! As you all know I had a battle with Cervical, Ovarian, and Uterine cancer. I am proud to announce that on August 5th I had several successful surgeries to remove it all. The largest tumor was 5 inches long and 4 inches wide, similar to the size of a softball. While I am still on the mend from all of this. I am proud to announce my pathology came back and I am now Cancer free. I am so blessed they caught it all early and through a series of "accidents" they found all of it. The last big one, they didn't find until they went in! 

With being down so much the last few months, I have naturally had a big struggle eating healthy. Thankfully I had friends and family making meals. In between meals I ate Enjoy Life Foods Decadent bars
These indulgent bars come in 4 unique flavors, including: S’mores, Cherry Cobbler, Chocolate SunButter®, and Cinnamon Bun. Each bar is topped with a complimentary melt-in-your-mouth white or dark drizzle (depending on the flavor). Decadent bars are a great anytime snack or a luxurious dessert. All bars are gluten-free, free from the top 8 allergens, and verified by the Non-GMO project.
It is hard to find GMO free snacks that are gluten-free as well. Grab some of these for your school lunches!

While I was not paid for this, I did receive a sample of the bars from Enjoy Life Foods and had to share my love for them with you guys. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Blueberry-Citrus Sparkler

I'm so thrilled to be sharing a fun Summer drink with Christi's readers today! I live in San Antonio, Texas...where temps are still well into the 90s. That means we're always on the lookout for refreshing drinks to cool us off on warm afternoons. I like to create fun new drinks to keep things from getting boring, and I recently came up with antioxidant-packed Blueberry-Citrus Sparkler that features blueberries, lemon and lime. To enhance the cooling effect of this refreshing beverage, there's a hint of mint in it is well. Depending on any special health concerns you have, you can adjust the sweetener. I used a combination of sugar and Splenda, but you could use all sugar...half sugar/half Stevia or sub in agave nectar or honey.

A pitcher of this fizzy drink can be ready to drink in about 20 minutes. I like to make a big pitcher of this fruity drink the morning I want to serve it. This gives it plenty of time to chill in the fridge and let the flavors combine. However, I have one hint if you don't have time to pre-make and chill: freeze a second container of blueberries and use them as "ice" to quick chill each glass of Blueberry-Citrus Sparkler. It also adds a fun bit of color and an extra fruity kick!


Blueberry-Citrus Sparkler
a Weekend Gourmet Original


Ingredients:

1/2 cup lemon juice (I used Meyer lemons)
1/3 cup lime juice
1 pint blueberries
5 fresh mint leaves
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 cups well-chilled sparkling water (I used Pellegrino)
Additional sweetener (optional)
Additional pint of blueberries to freeze (optional)

Directions:
Make the mint simple syrup. Combine the 1 cup water, sugar and mint leaves in a small saucepan over med-high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let the simple syrup cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Place the blueberries in a bowl and puree with an immersion blender. Alternately, you can place the blueberries in a blender to puree them. Place a large mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the pureed blueberries into the strainer. Use a spoon to press the juice through the strainer, leaving the peels behind. Pour the blueberry juice into a pitcher.
Juice the lemons and limes. I used one large lime and three large Meyer lemons, but the important thing is to end up with 3/4 cups of juice. Pour the lemon-lime mixture into the pitcher with the blueberry juice.
Remove the mint leaves from the simple syrup and add to the juices in the pitcher. Add 3 cups sparkling water and taste. You may find the lemonade is the perfect sweet-tart mixture you like. I added an additional 1/2 cup of Splenda that measures like sugar, but you could add agave or stevia instead if you prefer.
Chill for at least an hour if you have time. If not, pre-freeeze a second pint of blueberries and float a few of them in each glass to chill the drinks!

That's it! This is a refreshing drink that is perfect for al fresco sipping. To make it into a fun adult beverage, simply add a shot of your favorite vodka! The mint flavor is very subtle, but it does enhance the cooling effect of the drink. We enjoyed this with a simple dinner of grilled fish topped with mango pico de gallo, and the fruity flavors matched really well together. I hope you'll give my bubbly beverage a try very soon! Again, feel free to sweeten this beverage with any of the mentioned sweeteners...depending on any dietary issues you have. Thanks to Christi for letting me share with you today!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Candied Ginger Scones

It is with great pleasure to be guest posting for Mom What's for Dinner. My name is Marlene Baird and I blog over at Nosh My Way. Christi and I met in San Francisco at a Food Blogging Event. I am proud to be considered one of her friends and fellow foodie lover.

I am sharing with you my recipe for Candied Ginger Scones. Originally posted for the grain mill wagon recipe challenge back in May 2013.
The interesting thing about this recipe is that I was able to mill my own flour using the Wondermill grain mill.

I milled white rice for this recipe

I was always intimidated by the process of making scones, so up until this recipe I have never attempted scones before.

I just envisioned mine being heavy and dry. But I am here to tell you that my Candied Ginger scones will be the talk of the town after you try them.

Add 1 cup of almond meal (store bought) for every two cups of rice flour milled. You will also need Xantham gum. Xanthan gum is a natural bacterium which works to bind your mixture together so that your baked goods will not fall apart in a dry, crumbly mess. Add about 8 to 10 teaspoons 

Gluten-Free Candied Ginger Scones

 2¼ cups of the white rice flour blend* (see summary above)
 ¼ cup sugar
 2 teaspoons baking powder
 ½ teaspoon salt
 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
 ½ cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces
 ¼ cup diced candied ginger, chopped
 ¼ cup best of the egg product
 ⅓ cup cold 2% milk
 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. line a baking sheet with parchment paper
3. Combine the flour blend, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
4. Work in the cold butter till the mixture is crumbly.(use two knifes or a pastry cutter)
5. Stir in the candied ginger.
6. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla till frothy.
7. Add to the dry ingredients, stirring till well blended. The dough should be cohesive.
8. Pour out the dough onto a lightly floured surface.
9. Mold into a 7 inch circle and 1 inch thick.
10. Cut into eight sections

11. Paint the dough with a bit of milk then sprinkle some sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar, if desired.
12. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, till golden brown.
13. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes or so before serving.
14. Best enjoyed warm.

I used candied ginger, but you can use crystallized ginger too. Either way, it’s going to taste out of this world. 
This is a great recipe. There are no "scones" about it.

Thanks for the opportunity to allow me to guest post for you. I wish you great health and will have you in my thoughts and prayers.

To get more great tasting healthy recipes, don't forget to stop by and visit Nosh My Way.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Heart Healthy Stuffed Peppers


Heart Healthy Stuffed Peppers

Today I am so happy to introduce Anne Papina from Webicurean. I met her in San Francisco a year ago and just loved her right away. She even was so nice and drove me back to my hotel because I didn't know the city and it was in a kinda shady area. Thank you Anne!!! 
So here is her recipe! Enjoy and please stop over to Webicurean for more amazing recipes!
These low-fat, low-sodium peppers are stuffed with a mixture of turkey, rice, quinoa, spinach, and salsa and are packed with flavor.

halved bell peppers
First, spray your baking dish with the olive oil spray. Then wash and halve the peppers lengthwise, removing the white pithy ribs, the stems and the seeds. Line these up in the pan and set aside.
onions
Spray a large non-stick skillet with the olive oil spray, then sauté the onions and garlic until they start to brown. If they give you any trouble sticking, a quick splash of water or broth will fix that.
ground turkey
Add in the ground turkey, breaking it up as it browns. Once the turkey is cooked, stir in the spices, the salsa, rice and quinoa, and heat through.
turkey mixture
Turn off the heat and toss in the spinach. Be sure to chop it up better than I did.
Heart Healthy Stuffed Peppers
Pack the turkey mixture into the pepper halves so that they’re bulging. About a cup of filling. Then sprinkle the cheese over the top.
Heart Healthy Stuffed Peppers
Bake until golden and the peppers are tender.
Heart Healthy Stuffed Peppers
Serve with a nice tossed salad or directly on a fresh plate of greens.

Gluten-Free Stuffed Peppers
 Author: 
Ingredients: 
  • 5 bell peppers (mix it up with red, yellow, and orange)
  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 20 oz package ground turkey
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 (12-16 oz) jar pico di gallo or your favorite low-sodium salsa
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, and remove the white pithy ribs along with the seeds and stems.
  3. Spray baking dish with olive oil spray and arrange peppers in the dish.
  4. Spray a large non-stick skillet with the olive oil spray. Sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until it starts to brown. If the onions and garlic start to stick, add a splash of water or broth to deglaze the pan.
  5. Add the ground turkey to the pan, cooking until lightly browned and breaking it up as it cooks. Stir in the black pepper, chili powder and coriander.
  6. Next add the salsa, the quinoa and the rice, heat through. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped spinach.
  7. Pack the turkey mixture into the pepper halves so that it’s heaping, about a cup (see pictures). Sprinkle the tops with the cheddar cheese and bake about 40 minutes or until the peppers are tender. Serve immediately.
Notes
Save some time–cook the brown rice and quinoa together. In a medium pot, bring 2 cups chicken broth to a boil. Stir in ½ cup brown rice. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, then stir in ½ cup quinoa and cook covered for an additional 15 minutes. Turn off burner and let sit for 5 minutes.

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