Bacon Cheese Dip

 

If you are getting together with friends on the first long week-end of the season you may want to kick off the summer with this simple dip. Make it up ahead of time and heat it when you are ready to party!Bacon Cheddar Dip

Bacon Cheddar Dip

Canadian cheddar and bacon in the same appetizer is a good combo to celebrate Canada’s 150th and your family and friends will love it.

1  pkg (8 oz)  light cream cheese, softened

1/2  cup mayonnaise

1/4  tsp thyme

1/8  tsp black pepper

1  cup shredded Cheddar cheese

3  green onions, chopped or 3 Tbsp chives, reserve some for topping

8  bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

Beat cream cheese until smooth and light.

Add mayonnaise, thyme and pepper and continue beating until smooth.

Stir in cheese, green onions and crumbled bacon.

Transfer to an 8 inch pie plate or 3 cup oven proof dish and sprinkle reserved green onions or chives.

Bake at 350 degrees for about15 minutes until bubbly and starting to brown around the edges.

Serve warm with crackers and raw vegetables.

Lemony Lentil Soup

Lemony Lentil Soup

This month marks my first recipe column in the “Rural Voice” magazine.http://www.northhuron.on.ca/the-rural-voice-magazine-subscription

My goal is to present at least one new recipe along with several trusted favourites from my cookbook.

The column in the Rural Voice is general and will include recipes that still use wheat but I plan to include the gluten-free adaptations in the blog for those of us following a Celiac diet.

My first month’s selections for spring, with the fresh taste of lemon, all work well without wheat flour: lemon curd, meringues  (see recipe under Pavlova on this blog) and Lemony Lentil soup. Recipes for lemon curd and meringues are in my cookbook but the Lemony Lentil Soup is a new favourite.

I would never have considered this combination of lemon and lentils without the encouragement from my son. Try this lemony lentil soup for your health and enjoyment or just for a change at dinner!

Lemony Lentil Soup for pdf version click here

Nick and his wife raved about the soup a friend served them, which had quickly become Satomi’s favourite. My feelings were a little bit hurt that it surpassed my soups in their favour and I admit to being quite sceptical even when I did finally give it a try but it turned out a winner!  It pays to go outside our comfort zone sometimes. Adapted from the cookbook Whitewater Cooks: Pure, Simple and Real, this recipe is, indeed, simple, healthy and unbelievably delicious. With the flavour of lemon and dill it seems light and refreshing despite being packed with nutrients. It has become a staple in my soup freezer. The original recipe says it is good chunky or smooth but I definitely preferred the smooth version and enjoyed it even more the second day. Thank you Pat and Emily!

1  cup red lentils, rinsed and drained

1-2  Tbsp olive oil

1  large onion, chopped, more than 2 cups

4  cloves garlic, minced

2 ½  cups carrots, diced

1  tsp pepper

1/2  tsp red pepper sauce of choice, or to taste

1 Tbsp oregano, I have substitute 2 Tbsp pesto for the oregano and rosemary for a change

1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped

2  bay leaves

8  cups chicken or vegetable stock, homemade or low sodium

2  tsp salt or to taste

1/2  cup lemon juice

2  tsp lemon rind, finely grated

2  Tbsp fresh or frozen dill, reserve some for garnish if desired

1  cup Feta cheese, crumbled (optional – I do not bother with it)

  • Cook onion with olive oil in a large, covered pot on medium low heat until soft and translucent.
  • Add garlic, carrots, pepper, oregano, rosemary (or pesto) and bay leaves and continue cooking until carrots are tender crisp.
  • Stir in stock and drained lentils and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes until lentils are soft.
  • Remove bay leaves and puree soup.
  • Add lemon juice, lemon zest and dill and adjust seasonings.
  • Serve, topped with desired amount of feta and a sprinkle of fresh or frozen dill if you like

Serve 6

Tip: If you buy fresh dill for this recipe, wash, chop and freeze in a Ziploc bag what is leftover and use it as fresh dill in other recipes.

Roasted Cherry Tomato and Sausage Pasta

Roasted Tomato - Copy.JPG

 

Roasted Tomato and Sausage Pasta

I love the little orange Sun Sugar cherry tomatoes from William Dam Seeds www.damseeds.ca but in a good year they produce more tomatoes than we can use or give away since we have given all our friends and families their own plants to grow in the summer. They add a delicious taste and sweetness to tomato juice but sometimes I am not ready to make a pot of sauce so this pasta uses the excess and answers the question “what’s for dinner” in a very satisfactory way! It is adapted from Michael Smith’s “Cherry Tomato Penne” with a little more bounty from the garden added.

Roasted Tomato Sausage Pasta Sauce – For pdf version click here cherry-tomato-pasta

Nick recommended I try Michael Smith’s Roasted Cherry Tomato Penne and I was glad he did. I could not believe how simple and delicious this pasta dish was and it used a commodity that is difficult to preserve if you have an over abundance from the garden. Because I love roasted peppers and they are available at the same time as the tomatoes I included them with the sauce. I added the egg plant just to use them up one time and found they added a depth and creaminess to the dish that made it even better. This quick summer pasta dish has become a staple in our house.

1              Tbsp olive oil

8              cups cherry tomatoes, I use a mixture of red, orange and any chopped larger                              tomatoes if needed

1              red or coloured sweet pepper, coarsely chopped

1              small to medium egg plant, peeled and cubed (optional)

1              large onion, coarsely chopped

4              cloves garlic

6              garlic sausage (500 g) or sausage of choice – It’s fine to use up smoked sausage

salt and pepper generously sprinkled over all

8 -12       ounces  Gluten-free pasta shells or penne, I use an 8 oz box

1              large handful of fresh basil, about 4 stems, remove leaves and chiffonade

Grated Parmesan cheese as desired

  • Place olive oil, tomatoes, pepper, egg plant (optional), onion and garlic in a large roasting pan so vegetables are essentially in a single layer and roast at 400 °F for 30 minutes. I actually use 2 lasagna pans to spread them out and combine them after they are cooked.
  • Cut sausage into 1/2 inch pieces and add to roasted vegetables and continue roasting until sausage is browned, about 30 – 40 more minutes..
  • Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions when sausage is almost done.
  • To chiffonade basil leaves pile leaves together and roll. Cut through all leaves at once in narrow strips..
  • Toss basil in with roasted tomato mixture when pasta is done and top with grated cheese if desired.

I have roasted all the vegetables with the sausage for the sauce and frozen it to use in the winter and was really glad to have it for a quick meal.

Serves 6 – 8

http://www.annesfavourites.ca

Absolutely Awesome Drop Biscuits (Gluten-free)

 

I have missed a nice biscuit or scone since being diagnosed Celiac so I was thrilled when a friend brought the Garlic cheese biscuits made with Betty Crocker’s Biscuit Mix https://annesfavourites.ca/2014/10/22/almost-famous-cheddar-biscuits-gluten-free/ .These are so good you do not have to make a wheat version for company! I immediately tried a homemade version of the same with my regular all purpose flour mix but they were very disappointing. Also tried my own recipe for biscuits with a gluten-free mix and they also fell short of my expectations and of course I searched the internet for other people’s ideas for biscuits and none was up to scratch but these…….ARE!!

Biscuits

I revamped my Bread flour mix based on the past year’s experiences and used it with a little extra potato starch but I think the real trick is using the eggs in place of some of the milk. The buttermilk definitely adds an extra element of flavour but I plan to try them with soured milk when I use up all my buttermilk. I’m thinking if it makes a difference I will freeze the buttermilk in correct quantities for this mix.
I am giving you the recipe for the plain drop biscuits and the garlic cheese biscuits. Either is a great complement to a hearty soup meal.
Enjoy 🙂
I have successfully adapted this recipe to Grace Gammie’s Scones and will try to get that posted tomorrow so you can treat your Valentine this week-end to an afternoon tea or use them as a delicious addition to brunch.

Plain Drop Biscuits Click here for PDF version https://www.dropbox.com/s/xmqps5zrmxb61at/Drop%20Biscuits.pdf?dl=0

2 cups GF bread flour*
1/4 cup potato starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbsp GF baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
1/2 cup raisins, shredded Cheddar or mixed peel (optional)

  • Sift flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a bowl.
  • Cut in butter with a pastry blender or your clean hands until crumbs are between the size of peas and lentils.
  • Whisk buttermilk with eggs and pour over dry ingredients and mix with a fork until batter is combined.
  • Add cheese or fruit, if desired, and continue to stir until dry ingredients are incorporated and raisins are evenly distributed.
  • Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet or parchment paper. Bake in a 425°F oven for about 12 – 15 minutes until the biscuits are lightly browned and barely give when pressed on top.

Makes 13 – 15 two inch biscuits

*Bread Flour Mix

2 cups sweet rice flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup millet flour

ALWAYS whisk or shake together before measuring.

Garlic Cheese Biscuits

Biscuits:Click here for PDF version https://www.dropbox.com/s/ebivagb6jzfj8tv/Garlic%20Cheese%20Biscuits.pdf?dl=0
2 cups GF bread flour*
1/4 cup potato starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbsp GF baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
2/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Topping:
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 clove garlic, crushed or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp fresh or frozen chopped parsley or 1 tsp dried
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

  • Sift flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a bowl.
  • Cut in butter with a pastry blender or your clean hands until crumbs are between the size of peas and lentils.
  • Whisk buttermilk with eggs and pour over dry ingredients and mix with a fork until batter is combined.
  • Add cheese or fruit, if desired, and continue to stir until dry ingredients are incorporated and raisins are evenly distributed.
  • Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet or parchment paper.
  • Bake in a 425°F oven for about 12 minutes until the biscuits are lightly browned and barely give when pressed on top.
  • Mix melted butter, garlic and parsley and brush on hot biscuits.
    Sprinkle with remaining cheese and return to oven for 2 – 3 more minutes until cheese is melted.
    Makes 13 – 15 two inch biscuits

Anne’s Favourites

Kwan’s Chicken Wings

Kwan’s Chicken Wings

When nostalgic recollections in Lucknow turn to Kwan’s Sunday Chinese Buffet the most sadly missed item seems to be the chicken wings. We have not found a restaurant that compares so I decided it was time to try making them myself since Wyatt had shared their secret with me. They are the perfect gluten-free chicken wing because there are only 5   ingredients and at home I can be sure nothing has contaminated the cooking oil.

Kwan’s Wings – click here for pdf version of recipe

2 lb    chicken wings, cut in 3 pieces, discarding the tips (or use in your dashi stock)

1 1/2 Tbsp gluten-free soya sauce

1/2     tsp sesame oil (if you do not have it substitute any vegetable oil but it will not have                the same flavour)

1/2     tsp salt

1/2    tsp garlic salt or 1/4 tsp garlic powder

1       Tbsp potato starch

  • Whisk together soya sauce, oil, salt, garlic powder and potato starch and pour over wings in a plastic bag or bowl. Turn or stir several times to coat wings while marinating for about an hour before cooking.
  • Heat oil in deep fryer to 375 degrees and cook in batches of about 10 so the oil does not drop too much in temperature. Cook for about 7 – 10 minutes depending on the size of wings and your fryer. Raise wings several times to turn them over and prevent sticking to the basket.

Eat them as soon as they cool. They do not require any dipping sauce but if you like a little extra  flavour try some Thai Sweet Chili Sauce for dipping.

 

Maple Creme Brulée

Maple Creme Brulee

If you like custard you will love this Canadian treat.

I adapted this recipe from the Bistro Champlain’s recipe published in Flavours of Canada as a way to use the 8 egg yolks left from making meringues or Dede Wilson’s Essential Buttercream for a special occasion.

If you do not have leftover yolks you can always freeze the egg whites in quantities you will use. I often substitute an egg white for water when adapting a recipe using gluten-free flour because they give structure to your baked goods. Label it with the number of whites and the date you froze it. If you do not think you will use them individually save them all together and plan to make pavlova for a midwinter treat!

Maple Creme Brulée

1/2 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
8 egg yolks
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup maple sugar or brown sugar

  • If you are using a real vanilla bean place it with the milk and cream before you scald it then let it sit until you have prepared the remaining ingredients. Remove it, cut it open and scrape the seeds into the milk before you whisk it into the egg mixture.
  • Whisk egg yolks, maple syrup and vanilla extract (if you are using it in place of the vanilla bean) in a bowl until evenly mixed.
  • Slowly whisk in hot milk mixture and pour evenly into 8 prepared custard cups.
  • Place filled cups into an oven proof baking pan and pour boiling water half way up the sides and bake at 300°F about 40 – 45 minutes until the custard is set but still creamy.
  • Remove from water bath and cool completely.
    Refrigerate until an hour before serving.
  • Blot top of custard with a paper towel if it is wet then sprinkle sugar evenly on the top
  • Broil carefully or heat with a blowtorch until sugar is melted and darkly coloured.
  • Serve with sweetened whipped cream, fresh berries and a mint leaf if you like.

Serves 8

Almost Famous Cheddar Biscuits – Gluten-free!

Kathy Knechtel brought these delicious cheddar biscuits, reminiscent of the Red Lobster specialty, to a dinner party and the young people were lining up for seconds and thirds without having to eat gluten-free! They are easy to make using the new Betty Crocker Bisquick Gluten-free mix!

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/gluten-free-cheese-garlic-biscuits/781e1a42-c051-4ab9-bd5e-ac38c7588bc0

  • I don’t keep garlic powder because it goes hard before I use it up so I just used one clove of fresh garlic, crushed, in the butter for flavour and brushed a bit of the flavoured, melted butter on the pan where I was dropping a biscuit. It gave it lots of garlic flavour.
  • I used a little more grated cheese, maybe 3/4 cup and sprinkled some on top.
  • Kathy used buttermilk and I made them with regular milk and buttermilk and liked the buttermilk better but if you don’t have it on hand I would not hesitate to make them with plain milk.
  • Kathy add a few Tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley to the dough and in the butter topper and it made them perfect.

I will try them with a scratch biscuit mix and add some pictures to this blog later but I wanted to get the word out on this special treat for people on a gluten-free diet. It sure fits the bill for something to go with a hearty soup meal as the cool weather descends.