Category Archives: Recipes

Not Your Traditional Pancakes!

I love breakfast and I use to love to eating breakfast at a local cafe called Toast. Toast is an adorable cafe located in Port Jeff. I haven’t been back to Toast since I went GF, but have been inspired by many of their creations.

Toast offers typical breakfast items, like Omelets, Pancakes and French Toast, however they have a unique twist; including Cinnamon Raisin French Toast, Peach/Raspberry Pancakes, and Banana Cinnamon Walnut Pancakes to name a few.

I have blogged a lot about pancake mixes before. Currently my favorite mixes are King Arthur’s GF Mix and GF Bisquick. Not only are the mixes GF, but I easily make them DF. I have also been on a pancake fix lately, and have been developing unique combinations, just like Toast!

Last week I made blueberry/raspberry/ banana pancakes! I made the mix as directed (using water instead of milk), added a mashed banana, a touch of vanilla, and cinnamon to the mix. After I put the mixture on the skillet, I added the desired amount of blueberries and raspberries!

Last night I made my friend and I breakfast for dinner. She is also from Long Island and loves to dine at Toast (gluten-eater), she often talks about how much she loves Toast’s peach/ raspberry pancakes.

I had never had them, so I figured it was time to give this combo a try. Again I made the pancakes as directed, and added a touch of vanilla and cinnamon. I sliced the peaches up, placed the mixture on the skillet and then added the desired amount of peaches and raspberries to the pancakes.

I think this picture shows how good the pancakes were.

So my challenge to you is: Next time you miss a particular restaurant or food item, don’t dwell on it and get down. Instead, try creating a GF alternative. It may take you a few times, but once you get it, you will feel so empowered!

Rich Chocolate Cake!

Christmas Eve we spent the day with my Dad’s family. Though we all live on the Island, it was so nice to spend time together and reconnect. For a short time, I was the only family member (on my dad’s side) to be GF (and now dairy-free), however this is no longer the case. My cousin is also GF and DF.

I am not a big desserts person, but since it was Christmas I wanted to make something special for us. Before my cousin went GF/DF one of her favorite desserts was a chocolate cake that my mom makes. I decided to take a risk and experiment(however, I also brought my homemade cookies just in case it was a flop!).

My brother and I use to swim on a club team. This recipe came from a cookbook that the team made up for a fundraiser. The cake is so good, rich in chocolate, and moist. However there is one big problem, it contains both gluten and dairy! Over the summer I wanted to try out this recipe, but did not know what type of substitute to use in place of sour cream. However, I read plain coconut milk yogurt was a great substitute, and decided to give it a try.

The cake came out great! It was really moist and wasn’t overly rich in chocolate. Both my cousin and I enjoyed the cake. My Aunt and Uncle also tried the cake, and couldn’t tell the difference (I know I did good, when a gluten-eater says that!). Below is the recipe for your enjoyment:

Rich Gluten and Dairy Free Chocolate Cake

1 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips (Ghirardelli is GF/DF)
1 GF chocolate cake mix (any kind – I used Betty Crocker GF mix)
1 pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix (Jell-O is GF/DF)
4 eggs
½ pt. Plain Coconut Milk Yogurt
½ c. cooking oil

Preheat oven to 350*.Beat all ingredients, except chocolate chips, for four minutes.Let stand 15 minutes.

Grease tube pan while waiting.Put ½ chips on bottom of tube pan. Pour mixture over chips.Put remainder of chips on top of mixture. Bake for about 60 minutes. Sprinkle while hot with powdered sugar. As always it is important to read labels and verify that ingredients did not change.

Another Success from Cooking For Isaiah!

This week I promised myself that I was going to try out a new recipe. I have been wanting to make a new recipe from Cooking for Isaiah for sometime, and finally got around to doing it this week. All the recipes that I have made from this cookbook thus far have been great, so I was excited to try out another one this week.

I decided to make grilled ketchup-glazed chicken with potato slabs. The chicken was really good, as were the potatoes. However, I think I may of microwaved the potato for a few seconds too long, because when I sliced it, most of it fell apart. (It may not have been the prettiest looking dinner, but it tasted good. Here is the recipe for your enjoyment!

Grilled Ketchup-Glazed Chicken with Potato Slabs
(Recipe taken from Cooking for Isaiah)

1 cup ketchup
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
2 tsp chili powder
salt
8 chicken drumsticks (about 1 1/2 lbs) – I actually used a chicken breast
2 baking potato
Lime wedges, for serving

In a reaseable plastic bag, combine the ketchup, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, brown sugar, chili powder and 1 tsp of salt; reserve about 1/4 cup for basting. Add the drumsticks, seal the bag and let marinade for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat grill or grill pan to high. Microwave the potatoes on high until slightly softened, 5-7 minutes. Slice lengthwise and drizzle both sides with olive oil.

Grill drumsticks, basting occasionally and turning, until skin is golden and crispy and juice runs clear, 25-30 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, grill potatoes until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes each side. Sprinkle with salt if desired.

Hope everyone has a great Halloween weekend!!

Taking Sometime to Bake!

These past few weeks have been a bit hectic. Even over fall break I felt that I was constantly “on the go.” I don’t hate this aspect of my life, in fact I rather be busy.  However,  we all need those moments to just take a deep breath. This is how the cycle usually goes: I do what I have to do, keep a positive attitude and then eventually I end up crashing. For the amount of times this has happen to me, you would think I would learn!

By no means is this something that I am happy to admit, and is something that I am trying to work on. This semester I was doing so well. I was managing the stress and the heavy workload, and the breakdowns were minimal! Finally I thought, ” I’m finding balance.”

Well not quite, over break I broke down. I don’t like that this occurred, but  caused me to reevaluate. Working myself till I hit “rock bottom” isn’t healthy, but each time I try and take something from the experience. What did I learn?

I recognized that at times I feel as though I am carrying the “weight of the world on my shoulders.”  Between being a student, being a “patient” (dealing with a foot injury), and managing the diet. I feel as though I have to give everything 110% all the time. We all have “stuff” we have to deal with, but it is the choices we make that are going to help us get through it all.

For myself, I realized that I hadn’t baked in three weeks, and I was not as consistent with my blog this month.   Right now, these are things that I need (other then daily workouts) to keep my stress levels under control.  Yes, sometimes we have to make choices (i.e. What more important writing that paper that is due next week or blogging? Unfortunately, the paper has to come first), but I need a have a balance work and play.

One of my goals this semester was to take more time for myself. I have been doing this, but it unfortunately means  my nights don’t end until the early morning hours (that’s part of the college experience, right?!) I’m working on it, but in the weeks of high stress, “I” takes a back seat and school comes first.

Despite having work to get done, I decided I needed to get back into blogging, get in the kitchen baking, and get in a good solid workout. I told myself, “on top of homework you NEED to do these things!” I did just that yesterday, and it allowed me to re-energize myself.

Let me just say this before I make my next statement: I know it is only the end of October, but when I was trying to figure out what to bake I started thinking about baking Christmas Cookies! I know, way too early, but it put a smile on my face

I settled on making Banana Bread Cake from the GF cake doctor ( w/o carmel glaze – not DF), but wanted to add my own twist, so I topped the cake with crumbs! The outcome was delicious. It was like I was eating banana bread in a cake form. To be honest, I didn’t really need to add the crumbs, but it was a nice touch. Next time I bake this recipe I might opt to top the cake with some DF Chocolate Chips instead of crumbs. Below is the recipe for your enjoyment:

Banana Bread Cake with a Twist
(Original recipe from the GF Cake Doctor)

Cooking spray, for misting the pan
1 tbsp of cinnamon sugar. for dusting the pan
1 package (15 oz) yellow GF cake mix ( I used Betty Crocker GF Mix)
1/4 cup evaporated cane juice
1 heaping cup very ripe bananas (about 3)
8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted ( I used Earth Balance)
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350* Lightly mist bunt pan with spray. Then dust with cinnamon sugar. ( Shake out excess)

Place cake mix, sugar, mashed bananas, melted butter, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon in large bowl. Beat in an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are just incorporated. Stop machine and scrape sides down with spatula. Increase mixing speed to medium, until smooth. Pour cake batter into pan. Cook for 20 minutes

Here comes the twist: While the cake is in oven prepare the crumbs. After 20 minutes take cake out ( should not be loose) and sprinkle with crumbs. Bake for another 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Note: If opt not to use crumbs cake takes about 38-42 minutes to bake.

Let cake cool. Slice and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Enjoy!!

Pumpkin Season Kickoff!

One thing I love about living in the Northeast is that we get to experience all four seasons. However, this does not mean that I favor all equally. There is just specific elements that I like of each season.

I’m not the biggest fan of fall. I hate being cold, so as soon as the air gets crisp I am not a happy camper! I love the “heat of the summer.”  However, with fall comes the family traditions of apple and pumpkin picking. This is a tradition that I cherish very much. Even at my sickest moments it was something that I insisted our family continue to do, and is a tradition I plan on continuing when I have a family of my own in the future.

Another reason I enjoy fall is because it marks the season of pumpkins – It is now acceptable to make pumpkin bread and pumpkin pancakes! Not only are these foods delicious, but after baking it leaves the apartment with a  smell that warms my heart!

With the pace of school picking up I have started to feel the stress. An easy solution to calm my nerves, is baking. I was so excited to make the pumpkin bread that my mom use to make me, so there was no question about what to bake!

This recipe originally came from All Recipes. The recipe was simply adapted by using Jules all-purpose gluten-free flour, and tasted just as I remember. When one of my roommates and I tried the finished product, we literally had to resist from eating the entire loaf!

However, the true test was when I brought some muffins over to my toughest critic (aka: my brother).  The verdict: He thought they were really good, and enjoyed them. The next day I brought some to a staff meeting that I had at internship. Before I offered the muffins to them, I didn’t make any mention that they were gfree. After my supervisor ate the muffin she said they were great, and then asked what I did differently (she is aware I am GF), so they eventually found out they were gfree. However, everyone said they could of never told the difference, they were just really good muffins!

Those two experiences are a true testament to how delicious this recipe is. I love the feeling when people can’t tell that my baked goods are GF! It makes me happy knowing that I can leave them with a positive association to GF food. (I often find people have a negative opinion about GF foods). Below is the recipe for your enjoyment!

Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread
(Originally from All Recipes)

1 (15 oz) canned pumpkin
4 eggs 1 c. vegetable oil
2/3 c. water
3 c. evaporated cane juice
3 1/2 c. Jules GF Flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
Note: I use
McCormick SpicesandLibby’s Pure Pumpkin. Remember to always check ingredients!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7×3 inch loaf pans.In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended.In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Note: This recipe will make 2-3 loafs depending on pan size. I made one loaf, and 18 muffins.)

Simple Salmon Recipe

As you probably can tell, I tend to eat salmon at least once a week. Not only does eating salmon offer so many health benefits, but there is a variety of different ways you can enjoy it. Lately, each time I plan on cooking salmon I search for a new way to enjoy it.

A little over two weeks ago my mom started the 17 day diet (cycles of 17 days.) I am not a fan of every concept of this diet, nor do I think I could one allot myself 2 pieces of fruit a day (part one of cycle), there is one concept I like. Much of the diet focuses on taking out the processed foods and going “back to the basics.”

The 17 day diet book contains a few recipes. Last week my mom made one of the salmon recipes. She told me it was quick, easy to prepare, and really yummy. Since I was salmon this past week, I decided to give it a try.The meal took me a matter or 30 minutes to prepare! It was so simple.

Simple Salmon Recipe
(Taken from the 17 Day Diet Book)

Note: This recipe is for two fillets of salmon – half the recipe if only making one.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 lemons
1 tsp of oregano (I used Victoria Taylor’s Herbs de Provence)
2 cloves garlic, chopped.

Preheat oven to 350. Spray an oven safe cooking dish (make sure it has rims) with cooking spray or line with aluminum foil. Place salmon in dish. Drizzle olive oil over the salmon. Squeeze the lemon. Sprinkle the oregano, and chop and place garlic on top of fish. Cook for 25 minutes.

The Meal That Almost Didn’t Happen

Originally, I was planning on making chicken parm, on Sunday, however I was too tired and tied down with work, so I pushed it off till Monday night. Last night rolled around, and I was so excited to make my chicken parm. It was the first time in two years that I was able to enjoy this meal.

Well, it almost didn’t happen. Me being the cultz I am, dropped the sauce all over my apartment floor and running shoes! Luckily some of the sauce stayed in the container, and was able to be saved!! Thinking about it now, if someone had video tape or me, it probably would of been really funny to watch.

Despite almost not being able to enjoy this meal, the end result was great! It was nice to be able to prepare chicken a different way, and I enjoyed this old favorite of mine. I even had some leftover peas and pasta on the side.

Gluten, Dairy-Free Chicken Parm
Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 egg
Gluten-free Bread crumbs
Optional: Add small amount of Victoria Taylor’s Herbes De Provence Seasoning to bread crumbs
Daiya Cheese (Mozzarella style)

Dip chicken breast in egg. Coat in bread crumb mixture. Preheat oven to 425*. Cook chicken for about 15 minutes. If necessary while chicken is cooking heat sauce. Remove chicken from oven after cooking for about 15-20 minutes. Add sauce and cheese. Cook for about another 15 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and cheese is melted.(Note: Cooking time and amount of ingredients will vary depending on how many people you are serving)

When you have Lemons, Make Lemon Raspberry Muffins!

The other night my mom looked in the refrigerator and said, “what are we going to do with all these lemons!” Both my mom and I came across Jules’ Lemon Cranberry muffins on her blog Jules Speaks. However we did not have fresh cranberries in the house so I substituted and added raspberries instead!

Before I share this recipe I need to make a disclaimer. I got sick, from a mistake I made! Be sure when you get cornmeal it is specifically GF! Before using my cornmeal I checked the ingredients and it looked safe. However, after I ate a muffin I did not feel right. Soon after I  started to get clammy, bloated belly, headache, (along with all the other unwanted symptoms).

At first I thought it was impossible (I had used it once before, and thankfully I don’t remember getting sick). How the heck could I get sick from something that I made? I went on Bob Red Mill’s site, to only learn that they have a GF and non GF cornmeal. Then I double checked it using my ScanAvert App on my iPhone.  As I suspected this product was not safe.

I can’t begin to tell you how dumb I felt after I learned this. It wasn’t someone else that screwed up and caused me to get sick, it was my own self. So again, I warn you to double check your ingredients!!

Though I unfortunately got sick (probably one of the worst reactions) and have to suffer with the consequences, I have to say, the lemons and the raspberries paired well. While the raspberries were a little tart the muffins were great! I will definitely make these again, however next time I will use GF cornmeal! Below is the recipe with my alterations!

Lemon Raspberry Muffins

(Taken from Jules Speaks and Adapted)]

1/2 c. Evaporated Cane Juice, plus a little to sprinkle on top of the muffins
5 tbsp. Earth Balance Butter
1 egg
3/4 c. of Vanilla SO Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp of lemon zest
1 1/2 c. of Jules GF Flour
1/2 c. GF cornmeal
1 tsbp GF baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup of fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 375*.  Line 12 muffin tins with muffin papers.

Beat together sugar and butter until light. Add egg (or egg substitute), yogurt, lemon juice, vanilla extract and lemon zest, beating until well mixed.  Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated – the batter will be very thick.  Fold in the raspberries. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and smooth tops with a rubber spatula.  Bake for 20- 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and springy to the touch. Let cool on a wire rack.

We still have a  ton of lemons left so since it is my dad’s birthday today, we are making italian sausage and peppers and lemon chicken!! Two wonderful recipes.

Happy Birthday Dad! Thanks for being one of my recipe testers. I know I can always count on you for an honest opinion. May your day be full of joy and happiness. Can’t wait to celebrate with you tonight.

Mom’s Zucchini Bread: G-free Style!

Probably one of the best things about summer is there are so many fruits in season and we can enjoy fresh vegetables from the garden. This past week we picked our first zucchini from the family garden. Can you guess what that meant for me?!

This weekend I broke out my KitchenAide Mixer and got to work. I haven’t enjoyed my mom’s zucchini bread in the longest time ( I actually forgot what it tasted like) so I decided to make the bread using her recipe. Since my mom was also going to a work conference I made muffins as well, so she could take them along for the ride, and share them with her friends.

Mom’s Zucchini Bread: G-free Style
(Recipe taken from Everyday Gourmet and adapted)
2 cups evaporated cane juice
3 eggs
1/2 c. oil
2 c. shredded zucchini, raw and unpeeled
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. chopped nuts
3 c. Jules GF flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
Note: I made one zucchini bread and 12 muffins with the recipe. This recipe will make 2 loafs.

Preheat oven to 350*. Beat evaporated cane juice, eggs, oil, zucchini, and vanilla until blended. Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Add dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture. Add nuts ( I used walnuts). Pour into 2 greased loaf pans, or prepared muffin tin. Bake loaf for 50-60 minutes. Muffins take about 25-30 minutes.

OMG!! This was seriously the best thing I baked all summer. They were moist, and the spice flavor was outstanding. This is definitely a recipe you will want to try out soon.

Friday Night is Pizza Night!

Ever since I can remember Friday night has been Pizza night in our house. However when I went GF, and then discovered that I did not do well with dairy this quickly changed for me. At first, to be honest it didn’t bother me that I had to give up this family tradition (because it made me so sick), however as time went on I began to miss it. I’ll be honest GF and dairy free pizza isn’t the same as enjoying a slice from our family’s favorite pizza parlor, but I am learning to be creative. This time I made a grilled pizza and topped it with Daiya cheese, roasted red peppers, and broccoli. The pizza came out great, and was really yummy!

I made this pizza using King Arthur’s Pizza Crust. I made the dough when I was home for Easter break, and never used it so I froze it. I let the dough defrost out on the counter for a few hours, and then prepared the pizza. Note:This dough was really sticky, so before rolling the dough out I would recommend coating it with GF flour.

Pizza on the Grill

Heat grill pan on grill. Stretch dough out on surface. Spray grill pan, and then transfer dough onto grill. Allow dough to brown, then turn over. Top with your favorite toppings. Cook until cheese is melted and dough is slightly browned. Enjoy, and have a great and relaxing weekend