Defining Gluten-Free

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For those interested in gluten-free products, here’s info about FDA regulations and product labeling:

 

http://www.bakemag.com/Gear-Up/2014/8/Gluten%20Free/A.aspx?TipID=0&e=eat_dessert_first@outlook.com

 

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Back to Baking

Several people have asked me when I will bake some more. Friends and family who are far away and ask that are really asking, “When will you bake again and post your recipes/photos on WordPress?” Friends and family who live close by, though, are really asking, “When will you bake again so that we will have something of yours to taste?” I can’t be too upset at them; it’s a compliment to my baking, after all.

Yesterday, I decided to bake, for these reasons:
1.I have new ramekins which I had not used yet,
2. In the fridge were a nectarine, a black plum, and a golden delicious apple, all waiting to be used, and
3. The temperature and humidity outside were a lot more bearable, so I did not mind turning on the oven yesterday.

I washed and cut up the three fruits.  (If you read the posting from March 5, you know that I did not pare any of the fruits.) I sautéed the fruits with nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and bourbon.  While this mixture simmered, I made a topping of oats, gluten-free flour, pecans, cinnamon, brown sugar, and room temperature butter. At the last minute, I decided to divide the fruit mixture among three ramekins instead of two and baked the fruit crisps for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

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Would you like yours with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whip cream? Why not both?

Candy Bar-Inspired Bark

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About a year ago, I discovered Crispy Cat, a candy bar sold in the organic/health sections of many grocery stores. The front label states that it is vegan, gluten free, and all natural. Not only that, it is dark chocolate – the healthy chocolate. I bet your doctor would tell you that it is in your best interest to eat his candy, right?

I check out the bar in a green-colored wrapper; the flavor is Mint Coconut. The ingredients list organic brown rice crisp as one of the ingredients – the crispy part of the bar. Hmm, interesting. I’ve had chocolate with mint, chocolate with coconut, and chocolate with crisp rice. But all three together? Think of it as a York Peppermint Patty, Mounds Bar, and Nestle Crunch all in one. Curious, I bought one of these bars to see how it tastes. I tried it almost immediately as I got home.  Mmmm; that is one scrumptious candy bar!  I do not remember, but most likely, I ate the entire bar quickly, as it was that good.  I’ve bought this candy bar several times now when at the grocery store. Then, one day, it was not in stock.   The following week, same thing.  No Crispy Cat bars to be found.  After three or four weeks of wanting a Crispy Cat and not finding one, I went online and purchased a box of them.

Jump ahead to when the box of Crispy Cats are all gone.  The next time at the grocery store, I pick up a Mint Coconut Crispy Cat, which as usual sits next to the Toasted Almond Crispy Cat. Hmm, another thought – wouldn’t the tastes of the Mint Coconut and the Toasted Almond together be good?  It was then, that I decided to make my own chocolate treat.

I melted dark chocolate chips and chocolate mint chips together; the proportions were about 3:1 of chocolate to mint.  Then I stirred in some flaked coconut, sliced almonds, and crisped rice cereal.  (I did not measure anything;  I simply eyeballed it.) After spreading the mixture on a wax-lined baking sheet, I placed the baking sheet in the fridge.  In less than an hour’s time, I had my own Crispy Cat-like candy to enjoy.

The other day, I decided to make this chocolate bark again.  It was either the third or fourth time I have made this concoction. I did it differently this time, though.  Instead of mixing all the ingredients together, I stirred the crisped rice into the melted chocolate and spread it out on the baking sheet.  Then, I added the mint chips, almonds, and coconut, in different sections and in different combinations.

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Thinking of the pan of chocolate bark as a 3×3 grid, I placed different combinations of the three toppings on the chocolate mixture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This gives your guests (or customers?) a choice in what they would like to taste.  Myself, I’ll go for a piece of the bark which has all three toppings.

Care to try a sample?

Care to try a sample?

 

 

 

Gluten-Free Recipes

On delicious living magazine’s website, there is a gluten-free cookbook to download for free.  The booklet includes 25 recipes for desserts, smoothies, main dishes, and side dishes:

http://deliciousliving.com/gloriously-gluten-free-cookbook-25-all-time-favorite-recipes

 

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Gluten-Free Buckwheat-Flaxseed Blueberry Pancakes from deliciousliving.com

Breakfast Brownies (Gluten-Free)

Twenty-some years ago when I graduated college and got an apartment, I bought a couple of cookbooks and clipped recipes from the newspaper, so that I could teach myself how to cook a variety of foods, so that I could have a variety of meals.
One of the first recipes I came across was called Morning Brownies. This, of course, appealed to me as it was an excuse to have not only chocolate for breakfast, but brownies to boot!
I still have this recipe, though, I’ve upgraded the newspaper clipping into a typed word document.
As I came across the Morning Brownies recipe the other day, I thought that I should redo it so that it will be gluten-free. I will post the original recipe on the Recipes page of this blog; I also have it posted on wwww.tasteofhome.com as Breakfast Brownies Recipe. Keep reading here for the gluten-free variety.

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Gluten-Free Pancakes

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A couple of weeks ago, I made waffles with Bisquick Gluten Free and was very disappointed in it. This morning, I made pancakes, using Cherrybrook Kitchen’s Gluten Free Dreams Chocolate Chip Pancake Mix. It is rice flour-based, something I am learning to tolerate more and more as I attempt to cut back on gluten.

The directions require rice milk, so that is what I used. I have only used rice milk once before, and I remember it being a much thinner consistency than milk. I kept this in mind, thinking I might need to add more dry mix to thicken out the batter.  I often do this anyway when making pancakes.

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Rainforest Mint Cupcakes

Endangered Species brand chocolate is a good quality chocolate.  It’s a rich dark chocolate bar, available in many delicious flavors.  And, yes, it is vegan and gluten-free.   You can find the candy bars in health sections of grocery stores as well as some gourmet shops.  Their website features recipes.  The link below is for a chocolate mint cupcake.  When the recipe is followed according to the website’s instructions, the cupcake will be gluten-free:

http://www.chocolatebar.com/involved/?p=1727&utm_source=ChocolateBar.com+Newsletter+Subscribers&utm_campaign=bb799e6814-enews_mar2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_904f3da455-bb799e6814-211729613

 

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Cherry Cheesecake

Officially Gluten Free

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This light and creamy, Gluten Free Cherry Cheesecake is made with a flaky Chocolate Shortbread Cookie crust. Try it with Cherries or Blueberries or just leave it plain, either way it’s sure to please.

Ingredients

   For the Cheese Cake –

1 Pkg (8 oz.) Cream Cheese

1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/3 Cup Lemon Juice

1 Cup Whipping Cream

2 Tbsp Icing Sugar

1 Can Cherry Pie Filling

   For the Crust –

3/4 Cup Butter

1 Cup Rice Flour

1/2 Cup Icing Sugar

1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder

Directions

1. In a large mixing bowl, cut the butter into small pieces.

2. Add the rice flour, icing sugar and cocoa powder to butter.

3. Mix together with your hands. The dough will look too dry at first but don’t add anything to it. Just keep mixing it, squishing the flour and and butter between your fingers. It will take 5…

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3 Musketeers – All for One, One for All!

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If you follow Foodimentary’s page, you know that today is National Nougat Day.  As usual, he has many interesting facts – linguistic, historical – which tie into the featured food item.  My favorite candy car, the 3 Musketeers bar, is mentioned here.  Over the years, 3 Musketeers has had different seasonal and limited edition flavors, which have included cherry, strawberry, French vanilla, raspberry, hot cocoa, marshmallow, coconut, and mint.  What flavor 3 Musketeers would you like to see?  Would it be more mainstream, like 3 Musketeers Cinnamon? 3 Musketeers Cappuccino? Or would your new flavor be more on the wild side, like 3 Musketeers Wasabi or Maple Bacon 3 Musketeers?

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Manufactured by the M&M/Mars company, 3 Musketeers, along with Milky Way, Snickers, and M&M’s, are all gluten-free. A list of different gluten-free candies, highlighted by manufacturer, can be found at:

http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/glutenfreefoodshopping/a/GFcandies.htm

 

And, finally, a recipe for 3 Musketeers cupcakes:

http://cookiesandcups.com/3-musketeers-cupcakes/

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Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies – Gluten Free

Officially Gluten Free

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These delicious Gluten Free Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies are so good that you should just buy two packages of instant vanilla pudding because you’ll definitely  want to make them again. You really can’t tell they are Gluten Free.

Ingredients

1/2 Cup Butter or Margarine

1/4 Cup White Sugar

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup of Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix

1 Egg

1 Tsp Vanilla

1 Cup Rice Flour

1/4 Cup Tapioca Starch

1 Tsp Baking Soda

3/4 Cup Chocolate Chips

Directions

1. Pre heat oven to 350 F.

2. In a large bowl mix the butter or margarine with the white sugar and brown sugar. Then stir in the Pudding Mix.

3. Add the egg, then vanilla. Mix well.

4. Stir in the rice flour, tapioca starch and baking soda. Then stir in the chocolate chips.

5. Using a spoon make 1 inch balls and place onto a lightly…

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