Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Chocolate Mug Cake

Gluten Free Mug Cake

This is the best invention ever... chocolate cake in just over a minute. Whoever thought this up is a genius. It's not quite as good as "real" cake, but when you're having a chocolate craving emergency, it's a pretty dang good substitute. Go ahead and melt some chocolate chips over the top for good measure!
 
Not the prettiest, but delicious!
Too bad I can't blame my cravings on pregnancy anymore! Although I am breastfeeding, so I'm still technically eating for 2... and I'm pretty sure the baby wants chocolate.

for at least 1
Ingredients

3 Tbsp Gluten Free Flour Blend (any kind you want)
1 1/2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 Tbsp Sugar (you can use less or substitute other sweeteners in the appropriate amount)
1 Tbsp Oil (I use canola)
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
Dash of Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Milk (or milk substitute)

Directions

Combine dry ingredients in a medium-large microwave safe mug
Add wet ingredients and mix
Microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 mins (until it's no longer wet or squishy)
Ice with nutella or let chocolate chips melt on top

I usually eat it out of the mug but you can take it out and eat it on a plate... if you like making extra dishes ;)
 
Dry Ingredients
 
Add wet ingredients and mix
 
Microwave for 1 - 1 1/2 mins
 
melt chocolate chips on top


Sorry for the crappy pictures, but you get the idea!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal
The baby is napping and I think I have time for a quick post. He is 2 months already and I can't believe how long it's been since I've blogged. It's tough when you have such a cute little guy taking up all your attention! Although I can't say I'd want it any other way.

Baked oatmeal is a great breakfast for company or when you just feel like regular oatmeal isn't gonna cut it. You can make a big pan, cut it in to squares and freeze it for a quick breakfast during the week too. It's super easy to make; you don't even need to dirty any mixing bowls!

makes 1 square pan (8x8)
Ingredients

1 1/2 cups milk
2 Eggs
2 Tbsp Oil
1 Tbsp Vanilla
2 1/2 cups GF Quick Oats
3/4 cup Brown Sugar (or less)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Salt

Directions

Beat eggs, oil, milk and vanilla in your baking dish.
Stir in dry ingredients.
Bake at 350 for 35-45 mins
Serve warm with milk.

Mix ingredients together in baking dish
 
 
Bake at 350 for 35-45 mins

Serve warm with milk

Monday, 24 March 2014

Thin Pizza Crust

Gluten Free Thin Pizza Crust
I have been working on filling my freezer with easy meals for after this baby is born. I was craving pizza the other day and thought some gluten free personal pizzas would a good addition to my freezer stash (store bought frozen pizzas for the hubby). I made one large pizza for supper and 2 personal pizzas for the freezer from this recipe. It would be really easy to just freeze the crusts with no toppings (and normally I would), but for the sake of future convenience, I topped them before freezing.

Hawaiian Pizza
I got the recipe from the blog Minimalist Baker and made a few minor changes. The only special ingredients you need are brown and white rice flour, tapioca starch, and xanthan or guar gum. You could just use all brown or all white rice flour and it would still turn out. It is also egg free and milk free (if you use a cheese substitute).

Personal Pizzas

My husband was impressed with this crust and so was I. It's nice and thin with a chewy base and crispy edges. So far it's the best crust I've tried. Hope you enjoy it too!

makes 2 medium-large pizzas
Ingredients

1 cup Brown Rice Flour
1 cup White Rice Flour
1 cup Tapioca Starch
1 tsp Guar Gum (or 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum)
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
3 Tbsp Sugar, divided
1 Tbsp Yeast
1 1/4 cups Warm Water, divided
1 Tbsp Canola Oil (or other oil of your choice)

Directions

Proof 1 T yeast with 3/4 cup warm water and 1 Tbsp sugar. Let sit 5-10 minutes or until foamy.
In a large bowl, combine rice flours, tapioca starch, guar gum, salt, baking powder and remaining 2 T of sugar.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and add oil, remaining 1/2 cup water, and yeast mixture.
Mix until well combined.
Oil your baking sheets (or line with parchment) and use half of the dough for each pizza, or a 1/4 to 1/5 of the dough for personal sized pizzas.
With oiled hands, press the dough into desired shape (crust should be very thin).
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes (20-25 minutes for personal size). Dough will become dry and cracked looking but that's normal.
*
Now add your favourite sauce and toppings.
Bake again for around 20 minutes or until the edges are golden and everything seems cooked through.

* At this point you can let them cool and freeze if you want. If you add toppings before freezing you can bake them from frozen (about 20 minutes). If not, let them thaw before topping and baking for 15-20 minutes.
I put my toppings on my crusts while they were still warm so the cheese was starting to melt just a little bit. After they cooled, I wrapped them in plastic wrap and then foil and froze them individually.

Press dough into pizza pan
 
Or press them into personal sized pizzas
 (I forgot to take a picture of the baked crust before topping so you'll have to trust me that it's supposed to look dry and cracked)

Bake, top, and bake again!

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Indian Rice Pudding (Kheer)

Gluten Free Indian Rice Pudding (Kheer)
This rice pudding features coconut milk, basmatti rice and cardamom. You can get kheer in most indian restaurants. Many recipes just use regular milk, but I love coconut milk and it really compliments the cardamom spice. I buy cardamom pods from the bulk barn. It can be pretty expensive, so it's nice to be able to buy just a little bit at a time. You can also use cardamom powder instead of the pods. If you like a strong cardamom flavour, open the pods and crush the tiny seeds before adding them.

with toasted almonds and coconut
Another traditional spice in kheer is saffron. I don't usually have that on hand, but if you do you can add a few threads during cooking. Top the pudding with chopped pistachios, toasted almond slivers or toasted coconut (or all three!). You can also just serve it as is.


Kheer can be served warm or chilled. It thickens up a bit more when it's chilled. If you like a more runny consistency, you can add extra milk. It's a great dessert to go with butter chicken or any other Indian dish.

I like raisins in my pudding, but you can easily make it without.


makes 3 servings (can easily be doubled)
Ingredients

1/4 cup uncooked Basmatti Rice
1 1/4 cups Milk (I use 1% but 2% or whole would make it richer and creamier)
3/4 cup coconut milk (half a can) (I use the coconut milk with the higher fat content)
3 Tbsp Sugar
6 Cardamom Pods (or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom)
3 Tbsp Raisins (optional)
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)
2-3 Tbsp Chopped, Toasted Pistachios, Almonds or Shredded Coconut

Directions

Combine rice, milk, coconut milk, cardamom and raisins in a sauce pan.
Bring to a low boil on medium heat (stirring often)
Turn down to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until rice is cooked and pudding has thickened (about 20-25 minutes).
To let the cardamom flavour infuse the milk, gently squish each pod with a wooden spoon once the pods have softened a bit. You don't really want all the little seeds to fall out but you want the milk to pull a lot of the flavour out.
Stir in sugar and vanilla until incorporated.
Serve warm or cool in refrigerator for a few hours. (Remove cardamom pods before serving)
Garnish with toasted pistachios, almonds or coconut.

combine rice, cardamom and milks in a saucepan
 
boil then simmer until thickened (20-25 minutes)
 
serve warm or chilled with garnish of your choice

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels Review


I received this product from Enjoy Life to review. I am a huge dark chocolate fan, so I jumped at the chance to test these chips. They didn't disappoint! They are rich and smooth and have that characteristic bitter dark chocolate taste (and made with 69% cacao).

GF Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins with ELF dark chocolate morsels

I used the dark chocolate morsels in my GF pumpkin muffins and they tasted great. Even though they are free from dairy and other allergens, they don't taste like they are missing anything. I think they would also be good in chocolate chip cookies, or really any recipe that works with dark chocolate. The morsels are close to your average chocolate chip size, making them an easy substitution in any recipe. Each bag costs around $5.50 online, making them fairly pricey compared to regular chocolate chips, but they are a great option for individuals who need to avoid dairy.

Cost 2.5 stars
Taste 5 stars
Texture 5 stars
Overall Rating: 4.2 Stars
 
 
Thanks Enjoy Life Foods for providing these free samples for me to review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Ginger Snaps

Gluten Free Ginger Snaps
It's time to break out the Christmas baking! I've never made good gluten free ginger snaps, but my great aunt gave me this recipe the other day and they turned out amazing! Light and crispy and great for dipping in tea, milk or eggnog. I often find that gluten free cookies are quite crumbly, but these hold their shape really well.


This was my first experience baking with lard. The idea kind of grossed me out, but my aunt said that it was the best fat for this recipe, so I gave it a shot. You could try butter or just margarine, but no promises it will turn out the same.


I froze about a third of the dough to bake later. It's nice to have fresh cookies without all the work (and it will keep me from eating all of them before Christmas). Just thaw the dough in the refrigerator and proceed as usual.

Happy gluten free Christmas baking!

makes 3 1/2 dozen
Ingredients

1/2 cup Lard
1/4 cup Margarine or Butter
1 cup White Sugar
1/4 cup Molasses
1 Egg
2 1/4 cup All Purpose Gluten Free Flour recipe here
2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 1/2 tsp Guar Gum (or Xanthan Gum)

Directions

Cream together lard, margarine, sugar, molasses and egg.
Add dry ingredients and mix well.
Make 1 1/2 inch balls and roll in white sugar.
Place on parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches between balls.
Bake at 350 for around 12 minutes.
Let cool and move to wire rack.
Freeze in an airtight container.

Ginger snap dough
 
Make balls and roll them in sugar
 
Place balls on parchment lined baking sheet (leave lots of space)
 
Bake for 12 minutes at 350
 
Freeze in an airtight container


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Enjoy Life Foods New and Improved Chewy Bars Review



ELF new and improved chewy bars


I have been given the chance to do a review on the new and improved chewy bars from Enjoy Life Foods! To see my review of the original chewy bars, click here. I believe they have greatly improved the product in all areas including appearance, texture, taste and ingredients.

The first thing I noticed was the new packaging. The box and bars are a light beige colour rather than the original white, which gives the product a more "natural" feel. The new bars have a bit more colour on them too. In my opinion, the new packaging is more attractive (and appetising) than the original. What do you think?

new and improved bars
 
old chewy bars
 
The biggest improvement for me is the texture. The old bars had hard crunchy bits in them that hurt my teeth, but that has been removed in the new product. The new bars also have a lighter, more cookie like texture. This is probably the greatest improvement because I found the old bars to be a little bit too chewy and dense for my liking. I think the improved texture has a lot to do with the improved taste, because it is easier to taste the bar when it isn't sticking to the inside of your mouth.

Mixed berry (formerly very berry) was my least favourite in the old bars, but I found I could taste the berry pieces better in the new bars and actually really enjoyed this flavour. The sunbutter crunch and caramel apple were mainly improved through texture. I didn't notice too much of a difference in the cocoa loco flavour, but it was my favourite to begin with so I'm happy with that.

The box says that the bars now feature ancient grains. I'm not sure what they have added (or if they've just increased the amounts) but some of the grains on the ingredient list include: quinoa flakes, puffed amaranth, buckwheat flour and millet flour.

Overall I am very happy with the changes Enjoy Life Foods has made to their chewy bars.



Thanks Enjoy Life Foods for providing these free samples for me to review. All opinions are my own