Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Coconut Cream Pie

 

BEST. PIE. EVER.

Very creamy, very tasty, very good, every minute of it. So coconutty! Is that a word?  If it isn't it should be. I wish I had a better picture of it to convey how amazing it was.  Trust me it was delicious.

The original recipe came from Allrecipes and then was modified at Bunny's Warm Oven.  She had the genious idea to use conut milk and half and half combined instead of pure half and half.  Talk about coconutty!


Coconut Cream Pie

One nine inch pie crust baked and ready
1 (13.5 fl oz) can Coconut milk
Half and half - enough to make 3 cups combined with the coconut milk
4 egg yolks, beaten slightly
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut

Pour coconut milk into measuring cup.  Pour half and half into that same cup until you have reached the 3 cup mark. Pour the mixture into a heavy saucepan and mix in the eggs, sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Whisk to combine.  Turn on heat at about the mid level mark. Whisk away until your arms falls off.  It will begin to thicken.  Keep whisking.  When you see it thicken, keep on stirring for one minute more.  You know it is thickening when it leaves a film on the back of a wooden spoon.  You run your finger through it and the finger mark stays.

Pour mixture into previously baked crust.

I am drooling just thinking of this pie.

I scraped mine off the crust so I can't tell you about the crust.  I will say that everyone said it really went with the texture and taste of the filling.  Funny thing is, I even put some coconut vodka in the crust. I just happen to have a little bottle of it, I thought now isn't this fitting.

My mother tells me that her mother, my grandmother use to put vodka in a lot of baked goods.  I do like it in my pie crust and when I make ice cream.  Just a tablespoon.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Muffins

Ignore my frosting.  I wasn't really into the frosting so I just mixed up a little bit- kind of threw it together.  What I really wanted to tell you about was the muffins themselves.  Except for this muffin I ate them all with no frosting.

I love the muffin.  It tastes delicious for about three days.  After that it starts to get dry and that would be when frosting might come in handy.  But, honestly, I still would rather dip it in my tea instead. 

Now, don't think that all I will be posting is gluten free.  My family still enjoys their cakes and cookies... 


Peanut Butter Gluten Free Muffins

1 1/4 cups all purpose gluten free flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a 12 cup muffin pan -standard size.

Mix dry ingredients, set aside.

In a large bowl beat butter, sugar and peanut butter.  Add vanilla and beat three minutes.  Add eggs one at a time and beat for one minute after each addition.

Beat in dry ingredients alternately with milk ending with dry mixture.  Divide amongst muffin cups evenly.  Smooth out tops with a wet finger.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

Frost if desired.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Gluten Free Pumpkin Tart


It's been an interesting gluten free journey.  I'm back to being gluten free.  I feel silly going back and forth.  I think my friends might think its all in my head or I don't know what I am talking about.  I want to go to the doctors and get checked for gluten allergies and Celiac disease.  But there are two things that prevent me.  One is money, since we pretty much pay the full shot for everything these days.  I hardly think it is worth it since nothing really changes- I still would be gluten free. Secondly, getting tested for gluten sensitivity or Celiac means that I have to start eating it again.  This means all of the symptoms that I get will return and that is no picnic.  Waking up in the morning with my joints aching, numbness in my hands, swelling of all my joints, blood pressure going up, metallic taste in my mouth (immediately when I eat a gluten product, bathroom problems and a few others that I will not get into.

The thing of it is, they don't always see a gluten allergy either. 

For a while in between the last time I quit gluten I went back to eating it.  Not a lot, I kept it to a minimum most days.  But all my symptoms started coming back.  I knew I needed to make a change.

Obviously, some of the other changes I am making is watching my calories.  I am definitely not at a speed course for losing weight.  I reduced my calories a little, a livable amount.  I am still exercising and really kind of amped that up to a more aerobic level (lots of jumping).  With all of this, I lose about a pound a week.  No big deal really, but this would mean 50 some pounds at the end of the year and that would be a very welcome change.
I made this pumpkin tart a few weeks ago.  We loved it.  Everyone.  The only thing I would change next time is to make the crust thinner.  Make two tarts with the dough or halve the dough part of the recipe.  I will write the recipe with the original amount and if you make it, you can decide how much dough you want to make.
Calorie wise you really need to reduce the dough if you want a "leaner" piece.  This particular size slice is about 420 calories.  If I am going to have 420 calories of a dessert, I need something more... chocolaty, if you know what I mean.  Something more gooey. Now, if I reduced the dough and this widdled down to about 300 calories, then, yes, I would eat it again.  It's that good- 300 calorie good.  But then I am a pumpkin fiend.  If you go to Pinterest and find me (button upper right) you will see that I have a whole file dedicated to pumpkin.  It's called Pumpkin Palooza.

Pumpkin Tart
Original recipe found here at Land O Lakes®.

Topping
1/4 cup oatmeal (quick cooking)
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons butter, softened

Crust
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend

Filling
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


Heat oven to 375°F. Prepare a tart pan by greasing it.

Combine all topping ingredients in bowl; mix with fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Combine 3/4 cup butter and cream cheese in another bowl; beat at medium speed until well mixed. Add gluten-free flour blend; continue beating until dough forms.

Press dough onto bottom and up sides of tart pan.

Combine all filling ingredients in bowl.  Whisk until smooth. Pour into unbaked tart shell.  Sprinkle with topping. 

Place in preheated oven. Bake 25-35 minutes or until golden brown and set. Cool 5 minutes in pans; run small sharp knife around inside edge of cups to loosen tarts. Place on cooling rack. 


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Mexican Style Chuck Roast


My mind always goes to a classic beef stew when I am holding one of these roasts.  Or it goes to beef and barley soup.  But I wanted something different so I made some Mexican style beef with all the usual flavorings.

I made some corn tortillas.  You have no idea how good a corn tortilla is until you make one yourself.  The ones in the store are like cardboard comparatively speaking. These homemade ones, the flavor is incredible.

I love to add radish to my tacos- it just makes it that much more delicious.  We used some mozzarella, cilantro, radish, shredded cabbage and salsa.  Topped with a bit of sour cream.  Yum!

Mexican Style Pot Roast In The Slow Cooker

2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 boneless beef chuck roast (3 pounds)
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup water


Pan sear roast first.  Place the roast in the slow cooker.  Pour in water and add spices and place onions on sides of roast along with garlic. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours. Remove roast from crock pot and shred with a fork.



Corn Tortillas
Makes about 8 to 10 tortillas

1 1/2 cups masa flour
1 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lard or oil

Mix together and let sit for about 30 minutes, covered.

Stir in a little water if it is too dry- a tablespoon at a time.

Make balls and roll into rounds between plastic wrap.  Gently pull away tortilla on to you hand and slap on a hot griddle.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Borekas

Borekas.  This is an Israeli recipe.  Delicious food. I kind of changed it up a little though.  The end results were pretty popular the kids and the husband- they ate them all.

Feeling a little sad that I could not have any, I decided to use the dough that I used to make gluten free naan.  I sprayed an oven safe bowl and then plopped the dough in (more like batter really). I then wet my fingers (because when I tell you it's sticky, that might be a bit of an understatement) and pressed the dough down in the bowl and up the sides.  I then spooned the filling in the center.

I have to say I was pretty pleased with the results.  Though next time I would go a little thinner. It was a good dinner.
Borekas refashioned and gluten free.

Borekas

puff pastry (if you make your own even better- here is a recipe that worked well for me- its not hard- just a little time consuming.)

3/4 cup cottage cheese
100 grams of mozzarella (about a cup)
1 egg
1/4 cup minced dried onion
1 teaspoon sumac
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line baking sheet with foil or parchment.  THis will save clean up time later if they ooze a little. 

Stir together all the ingredients in a bowl.  Roll out the puff pastry into a large square, approximately 15 by 15. Cut diagonally, then cut those triangles until you have 8 triangles. Spoon a little filling onto triangle and pinch sides, sealing the filling in.  Try not to get any filling in the pinched part because it will not seal well.  Place on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. You can brush with egg to get a nice golden color if you like.  I was in a hurry to get dinner on so I skipped it.
Danish the normal way.
Danish refashioned and gluten free.

I did the same thing here as I did with the borekas.

Danish Cheese Filling

6 ounces cream cheese, room temp
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat cream cheese then add in egg, vanilla and sugar.  Spoon on to rolled out squares of puff pastry. Bake at 400F for about 15 to 20 minutes.

*I left the gluten free one in a little longer because it had more filling. I left it in a bit too long as the top cracked.  You just want it golden.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Gluten Free Naan Pizza


I make gluten free pizza when the rest of the family is enjoying my homemade pizza.  Normally this would be kind of sad but I have never really been a huge fan of pizza. The first time I made it I used a store bought one, it was okay.  The second time I made it, which I posted here it was good.  The thing I don't like is that instead of it having a certain chew that I miss about real bread, it is more like biting into a savory cake.

Enter this idea.  Its a recipe for gluten free naan.  Since I LOVE naan, I had to try it.  I will say the recipe is definitely a challenge technique wise but worth your patience to get it right.   The pile below is the fruits of my labor.  It needed a ton of potato starch to roll it out.  Yes, the recipe still needs perfection in my opinion but I can live with my results for sure. ( The original recipe says it should come out like mash potatoes consistency but  alas, its a bit like rolling out mashed potatoes.)

I put it in a 450 degree oven with my toppings on and left it in just long enough that the cheese melted.  The onions on top were sheer goodness.

Gluten Free Naan

3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 rice flour
3/8 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup all purpose gluten free flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cooking oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons xanthan
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons yeast
potato starch as needed

Combine dry ingredients: brown rice flour, rice flour, cornstarch, all purpose gluten free flour, teaspoon salt, baking powder, xanthan.  In a small bowl mix warm water with the honey, stir to combine.  Sprinkle on yeast and set aside to become frothy. Mix wet ingredients- buttermilk, eggs, oil and then finally the yeast mixture.  Pour into dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Beat for about 4 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle potato starch on surface place a handful of mixture onto potato starch.  Sprinkle potato starch over top and roll.  You have to use the potato starch pretty liberally.  You could try using parchment. Roll out a round, flat piece.  Transfer to hot skillet heat for about five minutes.  Flip to other side until just golden.  Remove from griddle and start again.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Better Butter

What could possibly be better than the flavor of butter?  Flavored butter.  Oh, yeah. 

Sadly, because of some issues with my SD reader, I lost a pic of this wonderful butter on some carrots I made for dinner.  Very simple yet very delicious. I have it on my toast in the morning.  You don't need much butter to get that flavor POW!

A friend of mine likes to slather some on her steak after grilling. She uses store bought.  The store bought ones are very good mind you.  Homemade is way more frugal though and you can control your ingredients.

I found some sriracha salt recently and somehow it has been making its way into a lot of my food.  Lots of flavor and not really all that spicy either. 

Flavored Butter

4 ounces butter
1 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes of sriracha salt
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt if you are using unsalted butter

Beat all the ingredients together.  The flavor will be maximized the next day after sitting for a while.

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