Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Old Fashioned Peach Cake

Last fall, one of my first attempts at altering a recipe came from a recipe in one of the local newspapers that was taken from Cooks.com. It turned out to be a wonderful plum cake. It would also turn out really nicely with any mix of berries on top as well.

Old Fashioned Peach Cake 

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. gluten free flour ( I use 2 parts brown/white rice, 2/3 part potato starch, 1/3 part tapioca)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or 1-2 TBSP Amaretto (why not?)
  • 3 peaches, sliced or enough to cover the top of the cake ( toss in lemon juice to keep from browning)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
Mix well butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Add eggs. Mix in flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt and vanilla extract or Amaretto. Grease  9 x 9 inch pan or line with parchment paper. Press peach slices into top of batter that has been spread in pan. Sprinkle topping over peaches.
Bake 375°F. for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tests done.

** If you are making this with regular flour, use 1 cup of all-purpose flour and omit xanthan gum**

Must buy more peaches!!!
Check out more Peach recipes  at The W.H.O.L.E Gang's Friday Foodie Fix

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Iced Tea

Iced tea. So many different versions

There's the sweet lemon Nestea version.

Then there's the unsweetened iced tea that is so popular in America. Growing up, you would go over to the States and order Iced Tea, forgetting that you are supposed to add your own sweetener. Always a quick reminder with that first sip.

There is southern sweet tea most recently popularized by McDonald's sweet tea. My first sweet tea was in the morning heat of Las Vegas. I ordered a large, not knowing that large actually means massive and not knowing that it most likely contained a month's worth of sugar. I remember sipping it once and when we came across the next Sonic, I soon had a Cherry Lime Slush in my drink holder rather than the iced tea. Much much too sweet for me.

When I was younger, we used to make Iced Tea all the time which I loved. Certainly I could make the powdered Nestea version but I like making my own.

I recently bought a huge 1 gallon pitcher  and set out to recreate the iced tea we used to make.

You can split this into 2 smaller 2 liter containers since that's what most people have.

10 cups boiled water
4 tea bags - I use 3 family size Decaf Lemon Lipton Iced Tea bags
1 cup of sugar
1 can of frozen lemonade

Steep the tea bags in boiling water. 5-10 minutes depending on your desired strength
Remove tea bags and add 1 cup sugar stirring to dissolve.
Add the lemonade and let melt. Fill with cold water, filling the gallon pitcher
Stir to combine and chill.

If you are using two jugs, use half the water, 2 tea bags, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 can lemonade in each and then fill to the top with water. 

Grab a glass, sit on the porch and watch the boats go by!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oven Fried Chicken

Dear Colonel Sanders,
I miss you. We used to be friends. Now we are enemies. Your delicious crunchy skin. Salty, greasy fingers. Remember how I would come to visit you? And you would give me buckets of chicken and crisp fries? Oh those were the days....

Last year, I drove through the Southern States, fried chicken capital of the world. Oh how I craved it. Obviously there was no way I could though.

I poured through recipes looking for the best. Cast iron fry pans, well seasoned. Frying lid on, then taking lid off, or maybe it was the other way around.

I had a whole chicken and attempted to cut it into 8 pieces. I've done it before in cooking class many many years ago. I must have failed. That poor chicken. I ended up with the kitchen shears and continued absolutely butchering the chicken.
Which is why I now use chicken drumsticks. Easy and it cooks nicely so you don't have to worry about different sizes, shapes and cooking times.

Easy Oven Fried Chicken

Preheat oven to 400°F .

  • 8 chicken legs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of seasoned gluten free flour - I used my regular flour Mix A
  • 2-4 tablespoons of butter

Dip the chicken legs in oil or shake in a freezer bag with oil in it.

Transfer to a freezer bag with  seasoned flour and shake until all pieces are covered. I used
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
This was for 2 cups of flour but I found that was a little too much flour, not enough spice.

Carefully take out and let them rest on a platter.Make sure they don't have a really thick coating of flour since you're not really frying them.

In your roasting pan, melt 2-4 tbsp of butter and then carefully place each leg in the hot roasting pan.

After about 35-40 minutes, turn carefully and continue cooking for about 20 minutes or until golden brown all over.

Updated: 10/30/10
I made these again and decided to take a whole bunch of blurry photos for you. 
Apparently I need my eyes checked? 

Eat. Lick Fingers.

Check out more fabulous recipes at Gluten Free Wednesdays 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake

It's that time of year again. Strawberry time. It's almost over and I still hadn't either picked or bought any.

We went out searching for some today and found some great looking berries.

I used to make Grandma's Tea biscuits but have since settled for Pamela's Baking Mix since I've been gluten-free.

I wanted to make some jam even though I've never really even used jam. Ever since "I Made Toast" I wanted to make some toast with jam.

I also saw some recipes in a Mexican magazine for Agua Fresa or Strawberry Water.

Plus some pureed strawberries frozen for future use.

So I made all of that. 

I didn't want regular biscuits for shortcake. I wanted those little sponge cakes that you get in 6-packs in the store.

So I found a recipe on Recipezaar and went to work on it. I had to make a few changes because I was out of icing sugar and I didn't want it to turn out eggy as some of the reviews said.

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake Recipe 

30 min | 15 min prep
SERVES 12 -15 , 12 -15 Little cakes
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup icing sugar - I used white granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs - I used 3 whole eggs and 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-muffin pan. I used cupcake liners but I'd grease next time.
  2. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar, using electric mixer.
  3. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy.
  4. In a small bowl mix the cornstarch and baking powder together and add slowly to the creamed mixture. (If added too quickly, it will fly about the kitchen.).
  5. Mix until well blended.
  6. Fill the greased muffin tins half full.Use a second muffin tray if you need it, filling empty ones with a little water. 
  7. Bake for 15 minutes. (Test with a toothpick, after 15 minutes, even if the top looks shiny).
  8. Remove from the pan while still warm. (They will look like little cupcakes.But trust me they will taste just like little shortcakes).
Serve topped with strawberries, and whipped cream.

 How good does that look? 

Now, the part where it says grease the pan and only fill halfway? That is the part you need to pay attention to. 

It's okay. You can laugh. I did.  

I remade them another day since they were all gone.
With this batch, I mixed by hand so they didn't get incredibly aerated and they all did fit in one tray, that I greased rather than using cupcake liners. 

With the new " dessert shells" as they are called in the store officially, I made some peach shortcake if you want to call it that. 

Wild blueberries and Peach Shortcake with Ice cream, Whipped Cream and Caramel Sauce
Check out more Peach recipes  at The W.H.O.L.E Gang's Friday Foodie Fix 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sesame Crackers. Yes, Crackers!!

I used to love crackers. Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Cracked Wheat, Saltines, Vegetable Thins, Table Water with Cracked Pepper etc etc etc.

I remember the first time I came home sick from school when I was little and was given some saltines with butter. Such a comfort food.
Having crackers alongside my chicken noodle soup, heaping the noodles on the cracker.
Making cracker bark with crackers baked with brown sugar and butter and glazed with chocolate and butterscotch chips.

I bought some Schar Gluten Free Table Crackers in order to make the Cracker Bark at Christmas. Both times I've bought them, they've been broken which is fine since the caramel sauce will hold them together. However, since they are always broken, they really can't be used for much else.

I'm not a fan of rice crackers. They look so plastic-y. I suppose I should give them a real shot. But, now I have these which I'll continue to perfect.

I saw a recipe in a magazine for some crackers and thought they looked fantastic. Buttery, flaky etc. And only 1 cup of flour. Why not?

Sesame Crackers

1 cup (250 mL) gluten free flour mix - I used 1 part brown rice flour, 1 part white rice flour, 2/3 of a part potato starch, 1/3 part tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp (15 mL) sesame seeds - if you like add up to  2 tbsp seeds
½ tsp (2 mL) baking powder
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
2 tbsp (25 mL) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¼ cup (50 mL) cold water - May be up to 1/2 cup with gluten free flour
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp (15 mL) whipping cream or milk - I used 1%
Coarse sea salt and/or other toppings

1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).

2. Combine flour, xanthan, sesame seeds, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add butter and use your fingers or a pastry blender to work in butter until it is the size of small peas. Add enough water to just bring dough together and gather together in a ball.

5. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is 1/16-inch (2-mm) thick or less. Use a manual pasta machine to do this if you have one. Use a 2-inch (5-cm) round cutter to cut out circles. Gather and re-roll scraps. Place crackers on a baking sheet. Alternatively, just roll out into a large rectangle and use a pizza cutter to slice them into squares/rectangles or triangles. Just dust the surface with GF flour first so you can move them.

6. Beat together egg yolk and whipping cream, and brush over the tops of each cracker. Sprinkle with sea salt or other toppings and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

Grating frozen butter is much easier.

Trying circles...

Nice and flaky!!

Then I thought I would try rolling them out and then cutting with a pizza cutter...

Much better. Although, brush with egg wash prior to cutting. Makes it easier.

Some of the thicker crackers...

On the left, the small circles I made which are a little thicker. I also re-rolled out some of the circles into ovals which is actually the perfect thickness. 

I ate way too many. Even had a couple with butter. So delicious. I'll happily make a half-batch or a whole batch anytime. Maybe some extra sesame seeds, maybe some other flavouring in them. Who knows???

I went shopping. I bought a fondant roller.

I tried it and then I removed one of the wave rings so that there is only one. This prevents a thin piece between the crackers. 

Also, there is ABSOLUTELY no reason to remove the edge pieces that are strange shapes. Face it, you're gonna snack on them.

Seriously. I need to double/triple this recipe.
Different flavours, different spices.