Salted Maple Pecans-3 Ingredients-Sugar Free, Gluten Free

There are those intentions that happen around the holidays.

You know the ones, the lists of events to attend, presents to make, wrap and send, cards to address, parties to host, drinks to be had with friends, all those wonderful things that combine the tiny components that add up to traditions. 

Then there are the obligations.

To create special gifts for special people.

To truly thank the folks who have done so much for you throughout the year. 

When your’e a parent, add in the need to instruct children in the rituals and meanings of the holiday season, without getting frustrated or angry because your work gets delayed, and you have the stresses of the holidays encapsulated.

Salted Maple Pecans Gluten-Free, Sugar Free

Continue reading Salted Maple Pecans-3 Ingredients-Sugar Free, Gluten Free

Raspberry Cheese Danish Recipe-GlutenFree

Raw Gluten Free Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish

Growing up in Northern New Jersey our local baker, Mr. Langer, created the most amazing pastries in his brick oven.  From crumbcake and water rolls to Danish and Kuchen, he crossed all geographic borders to bring the best recipes to our small town. 

From near and far, people would come to satisfy their desire for great pastries. But like lots of great artists, Mr. Langer only created some things when he wanted to, not when there was a demand. 

His Danish were a weekend treat for many people, especially on Sundays.  Rich with butter, tender stranded yeast dough,  encasing a sweet cream cheese filling topped with a bit of fruity jam. 

They’ve lived in my memories for years right alongside his meringues. 

I’ve dreamed of creating a gluten-free version for years. 

When you want a tender butter dough,  gluten-free Danish, you’ll likely be disappointed with commercial varieties, if you can even find them.  I haven’t found a regular supply of Danish. I miss them, especially on weekends.  

The chemistry of a sweet, rich dough is made more complex without gluten.  The butter tends to just fall right out, leaving behind a sad, unpalatable, open textured sponge.  Many people use lots of xanthan or guar gums to create the web needed for fluffy air bubbles to hold the butter in suspension.  

My family reacts to those gums with the same downstream complications as when we eat gluten.  So at first, I included my Pixie Dust to create the structure, but the Danish were very chewy, not tender and light. 

So I tried using just the psyllium husk since one of my friends, Janice Mansfield uses it in her breads. 

And it worked really well to get the butter to stay inside the web of bubbles, keeping the dough tender while rising and baking. 

Now I can share my gluten-free version with you. 

It took quite a while to get a rich sweet buttery dough that wouldn’t collapse while rising.  

Do yourself a favor, spring for grass-fed butter for these treats, it makes a drastic difference in flavor. Why bother making something so wonderful with less than the best?

This simple to make dough will put Danish on the table within a couple of hours including rising time,  even less if you have prepared dough in the freezer. 

Yes, in the freezer.  

This dough can be made far in advance from your weekend, then frozen without the fillings to be pulled out for almost instant pastries. 

I’m planning on making several batches of dough, placing them on squares of parchment paper then layering into a container for the freezer before the excitement of the holidays kick off. 

When taken out of the freezer, they defrost and begin to rise overnight in the fridge.  Topped off once they completely rise, I can have Danish on the table in a half hour or so. 

And not one person I’ve served them too has ever complained. 

Gluten Free Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish

Raspberry Cheese Danish Recipe-GlutenFree
 
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Author:
Serves: 24
Ingredients
Pastry
  • 248 grams white flour mix
  • 110 grams whole grain flour mix
  • 3 grams salt
  • 10 grams yeast
  • 30 grams sugar
  • 15 grams psyllium husks powder
  • 200 grams ½ and ½
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ pound butter (1 stick) cut into 8 pieces
Filling
  • 145 grams cream cheese
  • 85 grams sour cream
  • 30 grams sugar
  • 5 grams vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Measure all the ingredients into a stand mixer bowl.
  2. Beat for one minute, it is fine if there are still small bits of butter showing. These will become areas of flakiness in the finished Danish.
  3. Scoop dough out using a small cookie scoop or two spoons onto parchment paper.
If you want to freeze the dough, then flatten the portions between parchment and place in a freezer container. When you are ready to bake, allow them to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  1. Let rise in a warm place for one hour.
  2. Top each Danish with a spoonful of the cheese filling and a spoon of the jam.
  3. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes till well browned
Use any Jam you prefer. I really like Crofter Organic
  1. Let cool on a rack till barely warm, and try to not eat the entire batch.

Raspberry Rhubarb Meringue Pie-Gluten Free

My family loves pie. Any kind of pie is desired, all the time. Any fruit will do. 

Me, I love rhubarb in anything. 

So when I was invited to the NY pie party recently, I wanted to really make a statement. 

Combining smooth raspberry rhubarb curd, a fluffy meringue top and crisp bottom crust, brings it all together into one delicious pie. 

Blind Baked Gluten Free Pie Crust

 By blind baking the crust, I got away from the dreaded damp bottom crust. 

Blind baking means rolling out the crust to a good thickness, then fill it with parchment paper and some weights. Baking it like this means that the crust has a chance to be crisp before getting filled with the moist curd. 

Baking a blind crust with spoon weights

I know they make pie weights like these, Fox Run Ceramic Pie Weights, 11-Ounce,  and those work really well but I don’t own any.  I do own spoons, lots of spoons. 

So I lined the pie pan with parchment and then filled the pie with spoons, then baked the empty pie crust. 

Once cooled, it was simple enough to fill with tart raspberry rhubarb curd. 

Gluten Free Crust filled with Raspberry Rhubarb Curd.jpg
Gluten Free Crust filled with Raspberry Rhubarb Curd

Fluffy meringue covers the curd, carefully sealing the crust all around the pie.  Baked quickly to brown fluffy peaks, then cooled before cutting.  

Gluten Free Raspberry Rhubarb Meringue pie..jpg
Gluten Free Raspberry Rhubarb Meringue pie.
Gluten-Free Raspberry Rhubarb Meringue pie out of the oven
Gluten-Free Raspberry Rhubarb Meringue pie out of the oven

 The perfect springtime pie or frozen food pie. 

Raspberry Rhubarb Meringue Pie- Gluten Free
 
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This multi part recipe seems to be complicated but actually flows easily to the end result. The pie crust bakes while the filling is cooked, the meringue topping beats while the filling cooks. Together they make a lovely brilliant red and stark white pie. Just remember to beat the whites throughly, dissolving every sugar grain.
Author:
Recipe type: Gluten Free Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
Filling
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 cups rhubarb sliced
  • 2 cups raspberries (frozen are fine)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup organic cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
Meringue top
  • 4 egg whites
  • 8 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Instructions
Pie Crust
  1. roll out pie crust to ¼ inch thick,
  2. Place in pie pan.
  3. Place a piece of parchment paper inside and add weights
  4. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes.
  5. While it is baking prepare the Raspberry Rhubarb Filling.
Raspberry Rhubarb filling
  1. combine raspberries, rhubarb and sugar in a saucepan.
  2. Simmer till the fruit is soft and mushy
  3. Pour fruit into a sieve and stir till the juice is drained and all the seeds remain.
  4. This quantity should measure 2 cups.
  5. Combine 2-3 tablespoons with the egg yolks to temper them-allow them to come to warm.
  6. Stir in the cornstarch and salt.
  7. Stir in the rest of the fruit puree, and return to low heat.
  8. Cook, stirring frequently, till the mixture is bubbling and thickens- 5-8 minutes
  9. Whisk in the butter.
  10. Pour into hot pie crust.
Meringue Topping
  1. Bring the egg whites to room temperature. Cold egg whites have less volume than room temperature egg whites.
  2. Add cream of tartar to the egg whites.
  3. Beat the eggs till soft peaks form.
  4. Slowly add superfine sugar while beating and continue to beat until firm peaks form.
  5. The mixture should feel smooth when you rub it between your fingers; you shouldn't be able to feel any sugar granules.
  6. Spread the meringue on top of the still warm fiilling.
  7. Make sure the meringue reaches onto the pie crust. Meringues want to shrink and spreading it to the crust helps anchor the meringue topping.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes until the top is a light golden brown.
  9. Allow the pie to cool on a rack until it reaches room temperature, before placing in the refrigerator to finish cooling.

 

Ice Cream Cake – Dairy Free, Gluten Free

Does anyone in your house love ice cream cakes?

You know, the kind you can buy at Dairy Queen or Carvel.

When you are following a dairy free diet, that is a very complicated request.

I don’t know of a bakery that makes one.

An Ice Cream Cake-Dairy Free, Gluten Free

Stacked Dairy Free Ice Cream Cake

 

This simple technique of cutting and stacking makes even the most food allergic amongst us able to enjoy a frozen confection.

So Delicious makes a couple of great options for the dairy free person including Almond milk and Coconut milk Frozen treats.

Elephant Birthday Cake- Dairy Free with So Delicious.
 
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When you want an ice cream cake but the honoree is dairy free, life gets a bit complex. This quick to make dessert uses to its advantage the wonderful quality of So Delicious Coconut Frozen Dessert. Total time to make it? under 30 minutes.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 pint of So Delicious coconut milk frozen treat or flavor of your choice
  • 1 box Animal Crackers- Gluten Free, Dairy Free
  • 1 bag organic semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil.
  • 1 pint of raspberries for decoration
Instructions
  1. Bring frozen Coconut milk dessert out of the Fridge, letting it thaw just a couple of minutes to make cutting easier.
  2. Sort through the cookies, saving any with perfect form for decoration. The remainder of the cookies are ground to fine crumbs.
  3. Melt together chocolate and coconut oil.
  4. Once the Frozen confection is slightly warmed, grab a serrated knife and cut through the carton and the ice cream to create a dessert.
  5. Each pint of So Delicious frozen dessert should have 4 slices, after cutting.
  6. Place one on a plate top with 2 tablespoons of the chocolate, sprinkle with cookie crumbs then another layer of So Delicious frozen dessert
  7. Continue to stack the cake up ending with the frozen dessert.
  8. The chocolate will act like a magic shell, hardening as soon as it touches the frozen dessert.
  9. Line up the perfect animals in a circle around the base of the cake.
  10. Make a swirl of raspberries on the top of the cake.
  11. Serve.

 

Cheesy Grits with Ham and Rainbow Chard-Pantry Dinner

Between seeing patients, writing, teaching and parenting, I’m busy.

No busier than many of you, we all have our Busy Badges as a paleo friend says.

Just the typical post work routine: running between appointments, striving to remember the details of carpools, sports schedules and due dates for assignments.

Oh, and dinner.  There is always dinner to be made.

I keep things in my pantry at all time to make those fast dinners to prevent the,” I have to eat NOW,” hangries at bay from both our daughters and myself.

Cheesy Grits Ham Rainbow Chard- Pantry Dinner

This dinner is on the table in under 30 minutes. I promise!

Organic Grits with Kerrygold Cheddar, ham and Rainbow Chard
Organic Grits with Kerrygold Cheddar, ham and Rainbow Chard

From my dry goods pantry, a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Organic Polenta.

Yes, I know that it isn’t the gluten-free polenta, but we only eat Organic Corn since it is one of the crops highest in genetic modification. Since all those GMOS are created for resistance to pesticides, I’ve eliminated them from our diet. No hormonal disruption in my family, thank you very much.
Although this isn’t labeled gluten-free, I’ve never had a problem using it. I’ve seen the factory, I know how clean they keep it.

From the fridge, Kerrygold cheese. I picked the Vintage Dubliner this time for a richer, sharper flavor. You kind of need a big cheese flavor to stand up to the creamy polenta.

Ham- a bit of leftovers from our Easter Carlton Farms ham. We got this lovely meat from our friends at Carne. They procure all their meats from clean farms, those that don’t use hormones or artificial nitrates.

And Finally, a bag of Cut and Clean Rainbow Chard. Cause having it already harvested, washed and cut makes dinner really easy.

Now if you want to keep this meal vegetarian, leave out the ham. There is plenty of nutrition in the greens, cheese and corn combination.
I’ve been known to fry an egg and place it atop too. Especially after a track meet.  My girls need more food then :)

Vegan? leave out the ham and cheese. Still plenty there for everyone.  When we have a vegan friend over, this is the simple meal that I serve.

 

Cheesy Grits with Ham and Rainbow Chard-Pantry Dinner
 
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Gathering from the pantry and fridge for this meal means I have dinner on the table in ½ hour. I make my polenta in an unorthodox manner. By cooking the grain with butter before adding the liquid, my polenta never sticks together in a big lump, but still gets creamy as you stir. Save yourself the trouble. Feel free to change it up, use whatever greens, cheese and meat you have in house. It can be as different as you like but still satisfying.
Author:
Recipe type: Gluten Free
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ bag Organic Polenta
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 7 cups boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced Ham
  • 1 bag Cut and Clean Rainbow Chard
  • 2-4 ounces of Kerrygold Vintage Dubliner cheese- grated
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in large pot.
  2. Add the polenta and salt, stir till each grain is coated.
  3. Add boiling water and stir.
  4. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  5. Cover, turn off and let sit till greens are done.
  6. In a large frying pan over medium heat, saute ham in olive oil till warmed.
  7. add the chard and cook till bright green.
  8. Give the polenta one last stir, then divide into bowls.
  9. Sprinkle each bowl with ¼ of the cheese,
  10. Top with greens and serve

Rhubarb Compote

The anticipation, 

Waiting all year for this moment,

For Spring to come.

The moment when the rhubarb is beginning to bloom and mature.

The first green leaves of food coming through the ground, ready to be harvested and made into so many great recipes.

rhubarb about to bloom.
rhubarb about to bloom.

The first that I typically make is an extremely simple compote,

Only two ingredients, rhubarb and organic cane sugar, not even water added.

Rhubarb compote
Rhubarb compote

Served over ice cream, it is one of my happiest memories from childhood.

My mother adored rhubarb, eagerly awaiting the first celery like stalks from the garden.

Carefully showing me how to cut away the leaf, not tasting it while raw, making sure that I didn’t get a stomach ache or worse from the oxalic acid contained there.

Combining the tart slices of fruit with sugar, adding just a bit of cooking to get the slices to turn from crisp to soft but still retaining their shapes.

That is springtime to me.

Use the freshest rhubarb you can find for this recipe.

There is no where to hide when you only have two ingredients. It should be crisp, without bending or wiggling.  The texture is very similar to celery.  If you are fortunate enough to be near where it is harvested, the leaves will be large and a combination of tender and firm on the ribs (also known as petioles)

NEVER eat the leaves. Don’t feed them to your animals either.  The concentration of oxalic acid is highest in the leaves.

Feel free to compost them. They add to the nutrition of the compost substantially. If you would like to know more about the mineral and vitamin stores in Rhubard, this link to the National Nutrients Database for Standard Reference will help.

Suffice it to say that Rhubarb is high in Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin K, with a nice amount of Vitamin A and Calcium.

I love my compote on the tart side, so I’ll use a minimal amount of sugar. Feel free to substitute honey, realizing that the saucy portion of the compote will be far looser in texture since the honey adds to the saucy qualities.

When I have great local honey in my home, I love to use it with rhubarb. The floral notes of the honey really add to the complexity of the sauce.

Alas, we are out of local honey right now.  A trip to the farmers market needs to happen soon!

So organic cane sugar is my sweetener of choice this year.

The dryness of the sugar crystal draws moisture from the rhubarb with low heat, allowing the stalks to breakdown without falling apart .

Enjoy eating this primitive plant!

Rhubarb Compote
 
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When the first stalks of rhubarb come into your home, make this to capture the moment of spring arrival
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 6-8 stalks of rhubarb- leaf removed
  • ¼-1/3 cup organic cane sugar
Instructions
  1. Wash and slice the rhubarb stalks into ½ inch slices.
  2. Place in a small deep pot with the sugar
  3. Turn on low heat and cover the pot.
  4. Stir occasionally till the rhubarb lets off its juices, and the sugar is melted.
  5. Allow to cool and pour over high quality Vanilla Ice Cream

 This recipe can vary widely depending on your own tastes.