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.

Watermelon Gazpacho

Here is a wonderful way to enjoy the sweet, local watermelon at the markets now. Cut a a piece to save for slicing and use the rest in this delicious soup that will keep for several days in the refrigerator. A lovely change from sandwiches for lunch and packed with fresh vitamins and goodness.

Watermelon Gazpacho click here for pdf version

Nick brought this delicious summer soup to Sherborne Lake and it was an instant hit with our family. So refreshing on a hot summer day served as an appetizer as suggested in the LCBO Food and Drink magazine (summer 2013) where it originated or as the main dish at lunch.

8 cups seedless watermelon, cubed (about 5 lb)
1 Tbsp wine or sherry vinegar
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce or 1 tsp Sriracha to taste
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
1 cup red onion, diced
1 cup sweet pepper, diced, any colour
Garnish (optional):
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp lime rind, finely grated
AND/OR fresh basil or mint or chives, chopped

• Reserve 2 cups of watermelon and dice into 1/2 inch pieces.
• Puree 6 cups of the watermelon in a food processor or blender
• Add vinegar, lime juice, olive oil, hot pepper sauce and salt and pulse several times to mix.
• Transfer to a bowl and stir in reserved watermelon, cucumber, onion and sweet pepper.
• Taste and adjust seasoning then chill.
• You may serve the soup just as it is or with some fresh chopped basil or mint and but it is especially good if you make the garnish and top it with a spoonful before serving.
• Prepare garnish by mixing yogurt, lime jiuce and rind and spoon on top as desired! Finish with a sprinkling of fresh mint, basil or chives or a combination of any.
• Makes 8 servings

Pork Schnitzel

Pork tenderloin is on sale and corn on the cob is fresh at the market or farm gate – a perfect pairing for summer! Just add a baked sweet potato or a slice of vine ripened tomato, some applesauce on the side and dinner is complete. Satisfyingly simple and suitable for a single person or a family. Freeze any remaining schnitzel for another quick meal after a hard day.

Pork Schnitzel

Ellen La Marre taught me this quick and easy way to prepare my own schnitzel so I am able to use gluten-free crumbs and enjoy this simple meal again.

Cut a pork tenderloin into pieces about 2-3 inches long and flatten to ¼ inch. I use a wooden rolling pin with good results.

Dip pieces into a beaten egg then coat with fine gluten-free cracker or bread crumbs. Lay flat on waxed paper.

Fry in a little olive oil and butter until slightly browned and meat is cooked through. This only takes about 5 minutes on each side. If you have any extra schnitzel freeze them separately on waxed paper.

 

Tip:

 I always keep a bag of crumbs from the crusts of bread and broken crackers in the bottom of the package. When you have a cup or more just throw them in the food processor or blender so they are uniform. Sometimes you have to heat the crumbs and dry them a little before they will crumble properly.

 

Gluten-free Breakfast Mix

This nutritious mixture of grains and fruit was inspired by Holy Crap to replace my morning oatmeal or muesli after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. The Canadian Celiac Association recommends avoiding oatmeal, even the gluten-free products, the first year or so after diagnosis until normal blood indicators are obtained.

 

I mix a large container of this whole grain cereal blend and stir a quarter cup into a bowl of yogurt with a cup of whatever fruit is in season or some chopped apple, banana or frozen berries. I have mixed applesauce or leftover cranberry sauce with plain Greek yogurt for a nice change in the winter. I think it is a great way to start the day!

 

Gluten-free Breakfast Mix

 

  • 1 3/4  cups hemp hearts (227 g)
  • 2  cups chia seeds, black or white (330 g)
  • 3  cups whole buckwheat or kasha (500 g)
  • 1  cup ground flax seed
  • 2  cups dried cranberries and /or raisins
  • 2  cups chopped pecans, almonds or walnuts (optional)

 

Stir everything together in a large pot or bowl then store in a sealed container. Mix with yogurt and fruit for a nutritious and delicious breakfast!

 

Barbequed Brined Turkey Breast

  • Russ introduced us to technique of brining the turkey after being taught by his Mother-in-law, Maria. When we tried it we found it took turkey to a whole new level of flavour and moistness which is even more noticeable in the leftovers! The first year I tried it for an O’Neil Thanksgiving celebration for about 50 relatives and had a panic attack since you must realize the extra moisture retained by the bird makes the roasting time longer! The 26 pound turkey did not start cooking until the guests were already arriving. Luckily they stayed long enough to enjoy the results. Now we use a simple brine for our chicken and turkey whenever we are roasting it.

Brined turkey 2

When I saw a recipe online that brined a turkey breast before barbequing I was on my way to a new favourite that would rival Marg’s pork tenderloin and Dad’s flank steak for a “go to” recipe for family and friends. It is equally appropriate for a week night dinner as it is as a main feature for company but more importantly it is so simple and always delicious. I could not imagine finding another recipe for the new gluten-free cookbook I am working on that would be on that level right down to the added bonus of providing leftovers for lunches that cannot be beat.

For our Mother’s Day gathering with family we brined up 3 large turkey breasts and marinated 2 flank steaks and took them to a Mother’s Day gathering for our family where Cliff was able to enjoy one of the first beautiful days of spring while he barbequed and visited! They were so delicious but there was only enough leftover for Grandma and Grandpa today.

You do not have to wait for special occasions to enjoy roast turkey for dinner you just need for your local grocer or butcher to have it on the meat counter. Thank you to Knechtel Food Market for having this specialty available so often. I was too busy enjoying the day yesterday to get a good photo of the turkey and sweet potatoes on the BBQ so the photo I have was taken in the middle of winter when Cliff could not reach the BBQ for 4 feet of snow – no problem – this turkey is lovely roasted in a slow oven for several hours too!

If you see turkey breast at the grocer my advice is to buy two because you will want to try it again soon!

Barbequed Brined Turkey Breast Brined Turkey
Brined Turkey or Chicken

2 turkey breast halves, with or without bone
1 cups water
2 Tbsp pickling salt
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
1 cups ice
1 bay leaves
parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme leaves if you have them or 1/4 tsp of any or all of the above dried as desired

  • Boil water, salt, sugar and peppercorns together until sugar and salt are dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and add ice to cool
  • When brine is cooled to room temperature cover turkey in a plastic bag with liquid and turn to coat. Place in a pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours before cooking.
  • Preheat BBQ to 325 degrees F and place drained turkey breast skin side up on the grill for 45 to 60 minutes until a meat thermometer reaches 150 degrees F.
  • Turn the breast over and continue to grill for another 10 – 15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 172 – 180 degrees F.
  • Remove from grill and let sit at least 10 minutes before slicing.

I love to serve this with baked sweet potatoes and homemade cranberrie sauce!
Serve 8

Kale Salad

Kale Salad

Joanne gave me this recipe along with my first bunch of kale. It was so simply delicious and nutritious I have been seeking it out ever since. This week our local grocery store, Knechtel Food Market, got in a case of kale so it seemed like a good time to post the recipe! As you see from this photo I have added some kalamata olives, halved and used a sweet onion because I was out of green and red onions!

Kale Salad Click here for pdf of recipe

This recipe was given to me along with my first bunch of kale by Joanne McDonagh and I have
been seeking it out ever since. Wonderfully simple, delicious and nutritious!
4 -5 kale leaves, large, with ribs removed
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, diced
2 green onions or 2 Tbsp red onion sliced thinly
lemon juice
olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Massage washed leaves with ribs removed to minimize bitterness then tear into bite size
pieces.
Toss diced avocado with lemon juice and arrange over kale in a shallow bowl or plate. I have
a pasta bowl I like for this salad.
Spread tomatoes and onion over the avocado.
Drizzle with a little more lemon juice then olive oil.
Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper and serve.
.
Serves 2 – 3
Anne’s Favourites
Kale Salad

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Lemon Sauce

Gingerbread Pumpkin Cake –
Gingerbread Cake

I was thinking I would have to wait until next fall to post the recipe for this delicious cake because it just has more appeal when it is cold and blustery outside but this week fooled me! Thoughts of trifle and spring were quickly replaced with Gingerbread and Stew on Monday morning but you will not regret trying this cake to celebrate the winter’s last blast (is that too hopeful?)!

A common problem with gluten-free baking is not having enough structure to support your creations so they compact as they cool. I found switching to the 9 x 13 pan let the cake bake evenly and I also tried the addition of a small amount of cocoa because for whatever reason chocolate cake is much more successful. With those amendments the cake was a success.

Even the less successful attempts with this cake were sought after when they were topped with the amazing caramel lemon sauce! Once you try the sauce you will want to think of other places it can be used. For sure use the leftover sauce with some bananas and ice cream!

The cake this was developed from a recipe that appeared in the December 2011 Canadian Living magazine made with wheat flour.
Caramel Lemon Sauce
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
1/3 cup molasses, fancy
3 eggs
2 cups pumpkin puree
2 1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups GF all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp GF baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
Caramel Sauce:
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup whipping cream
Beat brown sugar, oil, sour cream, molasses and eggs 2 minutes..
Stir in pumpkin, fresh ginger and vanilla until combined.
Sift flour,cocoa, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg
and cloves. into pumpkin mixture.
Mix until combined then scrape sides of bowl and beat for another 3 minutes.
Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan and bake at 350°F for 50 – 60 minutes until cake is
pulling away from the sides of the pan and internal temperature has reached 200°.
For sauce: Melt butter with sugar and lemon juice over medium heat stirring until sugar is
dissolved and mixture begins to simmer.
Reduce heat slightly and continue to cook without stirring until amber coloured, about 5
minutes
Carefully stir in cream taking care that steam does not burn you. then continue to simmer
until thick, about 2 minutes. This sauce will keep 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Hot Cross Buns – Gluten-free Easter Delight

Toasted Day Old Hot Cross BunsThese are the ones I tried today (March 9, 2013) with the 1/4 cup applesauce added. I like the extra moisture and taste :)
These are the ones I tried today (March 9, 2013) with the 1/4 cup applesauce added. I like the extra moisture and taste :)<br

Hot Cross Buns – GF< Click here for pdf version of GF Recipe
Marion’s Hot Cross Buns (Wheat)< Click here for the Original Recipe with Wheat

I’m about 4 blogs behind getting posted but I had to bump these Hot Cross Buns to the top because they were so good and last year I thought I would never get another toasted, fruity Hot Cross Bun the way I like to make them with wheat (There is a great recipe for the wheat version in Anne’s Favourites pg 96 and I will attach the pdf). Once I got the hamburger bun (a future blog) recipe developed a lightbulb went on and I just knew they would adapt to this Easter treat! I wish I would have thought about the Maple Syrup as the glaze before writing Anne's Favourites because it worked perfectly

The English muffin rings are available at The Kitchen Cupboard and Icebox http://www.kitchencupboardandicebox.com in Listowel at a really reasonable price. I bought 3 packages so I have 12. They are great for gluten-free baking, giving you an easy form to spread the dough into and edges to bake which really helps structurally and that is what you are missing without gluten. I use them to make sandwich/hamburger buns also.

I can't wait to make these again on the week-end and will try adding ¼ cup of applesauce to the dough and see how I like that. If you try these please let me know how they turn out for you.

Hot Cross Buns – Gluten-free
3/4 cup milk, scalded
1/4 cup melted margarine
1/2 cup water
3 Tbsp honey
2 cups GF AP flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup whey powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp instant yeast
2 eggs
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup raisins, I like to use some golden
1/4 cup mixed peel
1/4 cup candied cherries
maple syrup to brush tops
Scald milk and let cool with margarine, water and honey while measuring remaining
ingredients
Sift together GF all purpose and sweet rice flour, tapioca and potato starch, whey powder,
salt, xanthan gum, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Add yeast, eggs, cider vinegar and vanilla to lukewarm liquid ingredients.
Pour in sifted dry ingredients and mix on low until combined. Scrape bowl and mix on
medium speed for 4 minutes.
During last minute of mixing add raisins, peel and cherries and combine thoroughly.
Scoop into 11 or 12 English muffin rings and spread as evenly as you can sealing to the
edges. Let rise uncovered for about an hour until it reaches the top of the pan
Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes until nicely browned and internal temperature
is at least 200 degrees F. Brush immediately with maple syrup if glaze is desired.
You may pipe the cross on with some butter icing if you like.

Wonder Food… Baked Sweet Potato!

It amazes me how many wonderful new flavours I continue to discover. At Matanza’s Inn Restaurant in Fort Myers Beach http://matanzas.com/restaurant/ we had a lovely seafood dinner overlooking the water. They served baked sweet potato* with the fish. It had the most intense flavour and was so sweet I asked if they had somehow already added brown sugar although it was still in the skin. They looked at me like I was nuts and assured me they had not. I thought it had to be a variety of sweet potato available only in the South.

When I got home I decided to try baking a sweet potato just to see how our regular grocery store variety would taste. I could not believe that the cooking method could make so much difference. How did I never hear about this before??? Why did I find this out just after publishing Anne’s Favourites? I am glad to have this blog to share this wonder food with you. Not often you find a food this delicious that is packed full of vitamins!

There is no recipe to give you, simply wrap in foil and bake for about an hour at 375º F depending on the size. If I am not using the oven for the rest of the meal I will often precook the potato in the microwave for 5 minutes to heat it up before wrapping it and baking so you do not waste so much energy. Of course you can just bake them in the microwave but they do not develop quite as much flavour. Use any seasoning sparingly because it adds unnecessary calories or sodium.

Also great on the BBQ!

* http://homecooking.about.com/cs/productreviews/p/sweetpotato_pro.htm