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

Best Banana Muffins – Vegan style

These banana muffins never disappoint! I adapted this lower sugar version of the Muffin Mania Banana Muffins in the 80’s and have been making them probably every month since in one version or another. When I had to switch to gluten-free flour they made the transition almost seamlessly. With my flour mix and a teaspoon of xanthan gum I am not afraid to take them to the shop for coffee break (especially if I make the chocolate chunk version). So when my niece was coming for a visit and I had some nice ripe bananas (the secret ingredient) I thought I would try them with a flax egg substitute to suit her vegan diet. I was not disappointed – they were great with fresh and dried cranberries for added flavour. I would make these if I were out of eggs anytime!

Vegan Banana Cranberry Muffins – for pdf version click here Vegan Banana Muffins

1 Tbsp ground flax seed*
2 1/2 Tbsp water *
1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten-free flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp GF baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed, about 1 1/4 cups
1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted
3/4 cup fresh, frozen or dried cranberries or combination

* the flax and water replaces one egg – if you are not vegan you may use an egg instead

  • Whisk water into flax seed in a small bowl and let sit while preparing rest of ingredients (at least 5 minutes) until thickened.
  • Sift flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  • Stir flax mixture and margarine into bananas until blended then pour over sifted dry ingredients.
  • Add cranberries and mix until evenly distributed.
  • Fill paper-lined muffin pans using a 1/4 cup measure or a 2 1/4 ounce scoop for 9 large muffins or a 7/8 oz scoop for 30 mini-muffins.
  • Bake at 365°F for 25 minutes (less for mini-muffins)until muffin springs back when lightly touched.

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

Black Bean Brownies

I needed a gluten-free, vegan brownie recipe for my niece’s shower and found two excellent recipes.

Check them out on these blogs:

Vegan, Gluten-free Black Bean Brownies from the Minimalist Baker – Who would believe that a can of black beans and some cocoa could taste this good!!

Vegan Zucchini Brownies from Chocolate Covered Katie, The Healthy Dessert Blog

I made these in mini muffin pans and topped them with a small swirl of vanilla “butter” cream frosting (made with margarine and almond milk)


 

 

 

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!

 

Triple Chocolate Cookies

If you are looking for a gluten-free cookie to make this March break and you like a little chocolate then these Triple Chocolate Cookies should be a hit. They took very little experimentation to come up with a gluten-free version of the original recipe. I just switched my gluten-free all purpose flour mix for both the wheat flours and added 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum and 1 Tablespoon of sour cream.

I made a double batch so I could share but they were so good they disappeared before they could be delivered to the deserving parties!
IMG_9861

Triple Chocolate Cookies Triple Chocolate Cookies GF2014
These are a hit with the chocolate lovers and I have found they disappear quickly from a plate of assorted cookies. You can bring these to a party and not have to apologize for being gluten-free!

1 cup margarine or butter or a mixture
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant coffee granules (optional)
2 Tbsp sour cream, yogurt or milk
2 cups GF all purpose flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup white chocolate pieces
1 cup semi sweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

• Beat margarine with both sugars until smooth, being careful not to over mix.
• Add egg, vanilla, coffee and sour cream, beating until incorporated.
• Sift flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder into sugar mixture and beat until smooth. .
• Add white and dark chocolate and pecans, stirring until evenly distributed.
• Drop by dessert spoon or 7/8 oz scoop onto an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.
• Bake for 10 -12 minutes at 365°F.
• They are done when the tops begin to crack and centres are somewhat set but still a little soft.
• Hide until needed!

Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies
Anne’s Favourites, Food for the Heart and Soul

Beef Lentil Soup

Beef Lentil Soup

Beef Lentil Soup

When I was told my folate level was low I made a visit to the dietitian to see what advice she had and she printed me the list of Food Sources of Folate from the Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/B-Vitamins.aspx?categoryID=3n.  I looked it over to see where I could bump up my intake. I noticed spinach was a good source and assumed kale had a similar vitamin profile so thought I would keep hiding it anywhere I could (soups and stews and salads). She also mentioned that beans and lentils were a good source. It just happened I had put on a soup bone for some beef soup that morning and I was wondering what might be a good gluten-free substitute for the barley and now I had the perfect solution – lentils. The soup made a delicious vehicle to add some folate rich lentils and greens.

For me this is a two day process – the first day leaving the soup bone on in the slow cooker and the next day putting together the soup but you could finish the soup at night and still have it for dinner. It is definitely hearty enough for an evening meal but it is also a great boost at midday if you freeze it in lunch size containers. Soup is my solution to a gluten-free lunch since I often feel I need more than a salad to get me through the day.

Beef Stock
If you can find a source of nice meaty beef bones and you own a slow cooker you will never want to use dry bouillon mix again. The ingredients below are the basics, but feel free to use almost any vegetables or herb you like. Just a little advice that I learned the hard way. Avoid vegetables with really strong tastes like broccoli and cauliflower. At times I like to add cabbage, kale and turnip, but not so much that it overpowers the other flavours.

12 – 14 cups water
2 lb soup bone or pot roast with bone in or stewing beef
1 large onion or several small ones, peeled
1 rib celery with leaves
1 parsnip, cut in chunks
1 carrot, cut in chunks
1 – 2 tomatoes, cut in quarters
1 tsp salt
1 whole hot pepper or 5 whole peppercorns
1 clove garlic
2 bay leaves
a handful of kale ribs (use the leaves for salad) if you have them
Any other vegetable, avoid strongly flavoured ones

  • Put everything together in slow cooker and cook on high for 5 hours or let cook on low all day or overnight.
  • If simmering on top of stove brown beef before adding water and simmer 2 – 3 hours.
  • Strain stock and remove meat from soup bone when it cools enough.
  • Add meat back to stock and discard bones and cooked vegetables.
  • Refrigerate stock and discard fat from top of container before reheating.
  • You may save some of the fat for “sweating” the vegetables in your soups.

Beef Lentil Soup
On a stormy winter day this is a very welcoming smell to come home to. It definitely is a meal in itself but even better with some biscuits or toast..
Beef Stock with meat (recipe above)
1/2 – 1 cup lentils, I use green
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup celery, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 potato, peeled and cubed
1 cup rutabaga, cubed
1 can (28 oz) tomatoes or 3 cups tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups corn kernels
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup kale leaves and stems, chopped
1 Tbsp parsley

  • Prepare beef stock as per recipe adding meat to stock.
  • Simmer lentils with beef stock while you prepare the remaining vegetables.
  • Cook onion with olive oil in large stock pot until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add celery, carrots and garlic and continue cooking on low for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add potato, rutabaga, stock and meat and cook 20 minutes until lentils are soft.
  • Stir in tomatoes, corn, parsley, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings.

Strawberry Pavlova

Pavlova Mmmm

I think this is the ultimate Canada Day dessert with it’s red and white colour scheme and local berries at their peak! You can make individual or family size meringues and they are so portable for picnics or potlucks or camping. Put them together when you are ready to serve! Use a handy can of whipped cream if you are not at home.

This morning I was able to spend time at our local berry patch, Morrison’s Berries, http://ontariofarmfresh.com/member-pages/morrison-berries-country-market/ listening to the birds and enjoying the summer holiday while picking a basket of strawberries. I seldom pick more than 6 quarts of berries at a time. That way I have an excuse to go again and again and it does not become a chore. To make our pavlova even more of a Canadian treat we harvested our first Saskatoon berries from bushes in our gardens. They are really abundant this year and taste like a cross between a currant and a blueberry and I think they will mix in nicely with the strawberries on top!

Meringues BakedSaskatoon Berry Bush

Pavlova– Click here for pdf version of recipe

Meringue:
3 egg whites, preferably room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Custard: This recipe makes enough for 2 batches of meringue or a Strawberry C  ream Pie
1/2 cup white sugar
3 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt, or less
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping:

Strawberries as desired, about 1 1/2 quarts washed and hulled
Sweetened whipped cream Meringue:

Whip egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean bowl with clean beaters until soft peaks form.
Gradually beat in sugar until stiff peaks form then stir in vanilla.
Spread all of meringue in a circle on parchment*lined baking sheet using a spoon to smooth and indent the centre slightly. I have also made individual meringues using a muffin scoop. This will make about 7- 8 individual forms.
Bake at 250°F for 45 -60 minutes until dry and firm. If you are not certain if it is quite done you may shut the oven off and leave it in until it cools
Custard:

Mix sugar, corn starch and salt until corn starch is evenly distributed to prevent lumps. Whisk in milk and microwave on high for 6 – 9 minutes, stopping to stir every 3 minutes When mixture has come to a boil and started to thicken add egg yolks putting a bit of the
hot mix into the yolks first to temper them.
Return to microwave and bring back to a boil, about 2 minutes.
Remove and add butter and vanilla, stirring until smooth.
Place a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap on top to keep from forming a skin and let cool.Cover baked meringue with cooled custard and berries. Top with a little sweetened whipped cream.

Anne’s Favourites Serves about 6

* You may use foil instead but lightly grease it before spreading meringue.

Butter Tarts and Blossoms

GF PastryButter Tarts GF

Once a year I make tarts for the Horticultural Society Soup and Sandwich lunch and make enough extra for Cliff’s Plumbing and home. This year it worked out particularly well because I thought I need to update the butter tart photo on my blog to a gluten-free version and this gave me the opportunity. I recall counting butter tarts as one of the blessings that was naturally gluten-free when I first began my diet. I do not indulge often but it is good to know I can still add them to a special picnic or camping trip when I want to and they are just as decadently delicious as always!

At first I made the “gluten-free” pastry but now I just make my regular pastry with gluten-free all purpose flour and by using plastic wrap to roll it I am able to manage quite nicely. Thanks to Jenn Croft in Owen Sound for the idea to do that! If you do not have your own favourite pastry recipe you may try this one. GF Pastry – Click for pdf copy of recipe

Butter Tarts – Click here for pdf version of recipe

GF Pastry for 30 tart shells
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter*
1/2 cup corn syrup
3 – 4 eggs, depending on their size, I usually use 4
raisins, walnuts or coconut to taste

  • Mix brown sugar, salt, melted butter and corn syrup.
  • Whisk eggs then stir into brown sugar mixture being careful not to beat. If you get too much air in the mixture some of the tarts may seem hollow when baked. 
  • Place raisins, nuts, coconut or a mixture of these in the tart shells then cover with butter tart filling to 3/4 full with a 7/8 oz scoop if you have one.
  • Bake at 400°F for the first 10 minutes then reduce heat to 350°F and continue baking 
  • for another 15 – 20 minutes or until filling is set. 
  • If you like your tarts runny you may take them out a little early or reduce the number of eggs to 3.
  • Makes 27 – 30 large tarts

*I would not substitute margarine here.
Anne’s Favourites

Rhubarb Coffee Cake – Spring’s Gift

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Rhubarb Coffee Cake – photo by Nicholas Mann

Rhubarb – Spring’s Gift to Us

If you live in Southwestern Ontario look in your garden and you will see another of spring’s gifts – rhubarb. It is ready to cut….. and….. my favourite Rhubarb Coffee Cake works equally well with gluten-free all purpose flour! Thank you, again, Jayne for sharing this recipe with me. I am still looking and working on a muffin to take the place of my old reliable wheat version so if you have one that works I would love to try it out myself. The photo above is the version made with wheat flour and if you are able to use this just substitute 1 cup of whole wheat and 1 cup of all purpose flour for the GF flour and omit the xanthan gum. I used this photo because I could not do as nice a job as Nick did when he did the pictures for the cookbook and the cake does not look significantly different made with GF flour.

Already my husband, Cliff, is asking for rhubarb pie and luckily we can do that without wheat too. I just have to decide which one to make, strawberry rhubarb or rhubarb custard? If the weather turns us back indoors I will post a photo and recipe next week! Let me know if you have a preference for one of the pies.

Rhubarb Coffee Cake GF – Click here for pdf of recipe

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Cake:

1/2 cup margarine

1 1/4 cups white sugar

2 eggs

1/3 cup applesauce, 113 g apple snack pack works

2/3 cup yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups GF all purpose flour

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups rhubarb, chopped

Topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 Tbsp rice or GF all purpose flour

1 1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp margarine

1/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)

Beat margarine and sugar until light then add eggs one at a time.

Stir in applesauce, yogurt and vanilla until smooth.

Sift together flour, xanthan gum and baking soda and stir into batter until combined.

Add rhubarb and beat a minute or two.

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.

Combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and margarine with a pastry blender or your

clean hands.

Add nuts if desired and sprinkle over unbaked cake batter.

Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes until cake springs back when lightly touched, a tester comes

out clean and cake is pulling away from the sides of the pan.

Anne’s Favourites

 

Anne’s Favourites