Monday, February 25, 2013

G-Free Pumpkin Cake - plain, easy, 9x13

I'm certain you can spice this up but I'm going to ask (beg?) that you just make it plain the first time out.  The taste/texture combo is completely different when it's fresh and warm than it is the next day.  I actually prefer this cake the second day!  It takes on a butterscotch-y flavor somehow!  And, to quote the youngest, "Make this a lot!  It's like a wheat cake!"  There is no higher praise around this house!

G-FREE PUMPKIN CAKE - I use non-stick spray w/9x13 Pyrex - 350 F oven

Combine the "dry" ingredients first and set aside:
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup superfine brown rice flour
1/4 cup teff flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/3 cup butter              Cream butter with sugars.  Add eggs one at a time. 
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar          Then add the pumpkin, applesauce,
3 large eggs                                                  and vanilla til just combined.
1-15 ounce can pumpkin (the plain stuff)                    Stir in nuts, if using.
1/2 cup natural applesauce (no-sugar-added kind)                    (I didn't.)
1/2 tsp vanilla
(1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional)

Spread evenly in prepared pan.  Bake @ 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes.  Mine took about 35 minutes until the toothpick came out acceptably clean!

I really think it's the little bit of teff flour that helps this more closely resemble the texture of a 'wheat flour' cake.  I'm going to be using it in a lot more of my experiments from now on!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Gluten-free instant gratification!

OK, my sweeties!  We might be in trouble here!  Just found a microwaved muffin-in-a-mug on yesterday.  OF COURSE I had to try it...just now...and, of course, it's gone!  Oh, the possibilities.....

G-Free Microwaved Muffin-In-A-Mug (Blueberry!)  You'll need a microwavable mug.  (Obviously...)  I pulled out my favorite hot chocolate mug for the first try.  Will definitely try something a little wider next time as the narrowness most likely increased my cooking time.  Here is my first attempt (I added the originally omitted brown sugar...sorry...):

1/4 cup gluten-free flour (2 T sorghum flour, 1 T superfine brown rice flour, 1 T tapioca starch)
1 T brown sugar
scant 1/4 tsp baking powder        Mix all dry ingredients thoroughly.  I used
a pinch of xanthan gum              a small bowl because I buttered the mug.
a good pinch of cinnamon
a tiny pinch of kosher salt

1 1/2 tsp butter            "Smoosh" it into the dry ingredients.  I used a fork.  Dump mixture into the mug and then stir in:
2 T milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)  

I then plopped in 10 frozen blueberries and used the fork to poke them into the batter a bit.

Microwave on high...I checked at 90 seconds and wasn't happy.  Mine took 20 more seconds so you'll have to be your own judge here.  I didn't leave it in the mug for more than 5 minutes after I deemed it done since I didn't want the heat from the ceramic mug to continue cooking it much more.  (I'm actually surprised I could wait that long!) 

(So, Cousin, you DON'T have to hit up the g-free bakery now, DO YOU?!?!?)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Easy Crock Pot Pulled Pork

The original recipe can be found at; my alterations are few but make me, since that's what this is all about, do what makes you happiest, too!!

EASY CROCK POT PULLED PORK - use a 4 1/2 - 5 quart crock pot for a smaller roast; use a 6 1/2 - 7 quart crock pot for a larger roast.

1 large sweet onion, sliced into thin wedges - place in bottom of crock pot

2 T brown sugar                                Mix next four ingredients together
1 T smoked paprika                               thoroughly.
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

4 pound boneless pork butt/shoulder roast - up to 6 pounds - rinse with cold water, pat dry with paper towels.  Rub brown sugar mixture all over the roast and place roast in crock pot on top of onions.

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
scant 1 T Worcestershire sauce               Combine and drizzle about half of
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes            this liquid mixture over the roast.
1 tsp sugar                                            Cover and refrigerate other half.
scant 1/2 tsp dry mustard                       Place lid on crock pot. On low, cook
scant 1/4 tsp garlic powder                     10-12 hours.  During last half hour 
pinch cayenne pepper                             of cooking, drizzle reserved vinegar
                                                        mixture over roast.
Remove meat and onions; drain.  Shred meat (and onions, optional.)  Return meat to crock pot, and add barbecue sauce of choice.  (Actually, you really just need to serve this with the Music City Pig Pals Tangy Barbecue Sauce I posted earlier this month!!!)  

I keep making the wraps and use this pork with the aforementioned sauce for quick microwaved lunches!  Add some freshly chopped red onion and be REALLY HAPPY!!!  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dare I say.....Chocolate Chip Cookies.....

I'm not sure I should post this yet.....but, at least, they look like I want them to look.  I do, however, still feel like this is a work in progress.....just so you know.  I'm going to add that the chill time should probably be one entire day.  Yes, 24 hours.  Twenty-four long hours.....  So plan ahead.  It's actually easy to throw the dough together and pop it in the frig one day before you need to use the oven for something else...and then make these when the oven is already hot.  I'm sure you can double this easily enough.....but only if you won't be alone with all those cookies!!  Or freeze the extras.  Seriously, I think 36 cookies is plenty of temptation!


1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp    ---Cream butter and sugars together.
1/2 cup light brown sugar                     I do this by hand with a sturdy spoon.
1/4 cup sugar                                              Then add the vanilla.
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg                                           --Completely incorporate the egg next.

3/4 cup 'sweet' white sorghum flour         --Combine all dry ingredients WELL.
1/4 cup superfine white rice flour (OR superfine brown rice flour)
1/4 cup sweet rice flour (OR, and I definitely prefer, packed almond flour)
1/4 cup tapioca starch 
1/2 tsp baking soda                             Add to creamed mixture until
1/4 tsp xanthan gum                                completely combined. 
1/8 tsp kosher salt            

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips             Stir in chocolate.

WRAP dough in plastic and CHILL.  You can get away with chilling for only 8 hours but there may be a little residual gritty texture in the baked, if you don't mind that, mix in the morning and bake in the evening.  Otherwise, try to wait 24 hours before baking!    

Set oven to 350 degrees F.  Using a 2-tsp scoop, make about 36 dough balls.  (I use parchment paper on my cookie sheets and I got 18 to fit per sheet.)  Bake 10-11 minutes, til just turning golden on the edges.  If you bake longer, you will get crunchy cookies.  Mine took about 10 minutes and 30 seconds to achieve "just right" status!  I left them to completely cool on the cookie sheets but should have moved them to a paper toweled area on the do your own thing with cooling.  If you move them to a rack, however, you should expect them to crisp up more.

They're really tempting after about 5 minutes out of the oven.....  REALLY TEMPTING.....  And they seem to improve the day after they're in, "These are more like normal chocolate chip cookies now!"  Just so you know...  If you can use the almond flour, I HIGHLY recommend doing so.  (NOT almond meal, almond FLOUR.)  You will get a less "dusty" final product with more "chew" factor.  I also think they hold over longer so you don't have to worry about freezing or tossing any. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

So...I found this awesome BBQ sauce...

How do I say this without sounding like I've completely lost my mind.....?!?!?  I'm over-the-top crazy for this BBQ sauce!  The original recipe can be found at as submitted by Lee and Bobbie McWright.  I've changed it just a little and will rewrite it here with the ingredient amounts and twists that I those who have tasted it now know it and may want to replicate it exactly!  As always, make certain your ingredients are ALL g-free.  

My take on Music City Pig Pals Tangy Barbecue Sauce

Mix everything together in a saucepan:
1 cup ketchup (I use real-sugar-only, no HFCS)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, REALLY PACKED and slightly too full
scant tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper
6 T apple cider vinegar
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T Worcestershire sauce (GF!)
2 tsp prepared yellow mustard
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup water
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Spanish smoked paprika

Bring to simmer over low, stirring when needed, and simmer for a good 30-40 minutes.  I let mine go a little longer as it does get a tad bit thicker that way.  Store in the frig.  Glass is best, as they suggest, so you can use every last drop!!!  

I will post the pulled pork that I've been making to put under this stuff...although, it goes down nicely with shredded beef, chicken.....or just straight off the spoon!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pizza Quesadillas: Pizza Sauce and a wrap update

I don't know where this pizza sauce started...but this is where it ended!  It's easy, I always have everything to make it, it doesn't cost much, it doesn't take long to make, and we like it!  'Nuf said!


6 ounce can tomato paste
6 ounce can of water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried parsley, crushed
scant 1 tsp onion powder
1/2-3/4 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
1 tsp sugar

Mix all thoroughly in very small pan.  Bring to simmer; simmer 10 minutes, stirring here and there.  (If you don't, it'll be popping all over your cook-top!)  Cool and use!  

If I delay the making of this, I'll stick in some cold cooked Italian sausage to get it cooled down faster!

OK, back to the wraps.....make a batch.  That's 6.  That means three quesadillas.  (I'm using less starch and really liking the fact that my flour mixes all seem to work!  Last night, 1/3 cup sorghum flour, then a half-and-half split of the next 1/3 cup - superfine brown rice flour and teff, and another half-and-half split of the last 1/3 cup between green pea flour and tapioca starch.  One of these days, I'll try it with NO starch at all.  I'll get back to you on that...  I'm tempted to simply grab a 1-cup measure and just dump instead of going the 3x 1/3-cup route...but maybe not...!!!)

PIZZA QUESADILLAS - makes 3 with 6 wraps

My stainless steel jelly roll pan worked perfectly...spray with non-stick spray.  Preheat oven - 350 degrees F.

Lay down three wraps on the pan, hopefully not touching.  Smear on pizza sauce.  Top with your favorite pizza toppings...I used chopped onion, chopped red pepper, ham, and shredded Italian cheese.  Lay the other three wraps on top, matching the sizes as closely as is possible.  Carefully press down on each quesadilla and try to tuck back in anything that falls out!

Bake for about 15 minutes.  Anything longer and they will dry out too much so use your own judgment.   (We're thinking a few chopped tomatoes would be nice...maybe adding right after the pizza sauce?)  Allow to cool only a few minutes; they cool off fairly fast.  I used the pizza cutter to make easily-grabbed quarters.

This is something that will be made again and again and again.....  I wasn't kidding when I said I'm now addicted to these wraps!!!

Can it get any easier than this??

Friday, February 1, 2013

Chocolate Banana Snack Cake

Trial and error, trial and error, trial and error.....not that I'm tired of this recipe, exactly, but it definitely took longer to get "right" than many of the others.....  So, elevated frustration but a solid recipe in the end.  I'm sure I'll be back with other renditions eventually, but...this is where it stands for now.  (I'm not sure what kind of cake you will get if you use regular brown rice flour; the flour I have is ground more finely than most of the others.  Regular grind usually produces a gritty texture in cakes so do your best to use something finer.)

Chocolate Banana Snack Cake - I use a sprayed 8x8 Pyrex

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream together:
1/4 cup butter, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Add til blended:
3 mashed bananas, fairly large ones...
2 eggs
3/4 cup low fat buttermilk

Combine and add to creamed mixture:
1/2 cup + 2 T sweet white sorghum flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder, I use Dutch
1/4 cup superfine brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup almond flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt, if using unsalted butter

Spread evenly in pan. Bake for approximately 50 minutes...til toothpick comes out clean near the edge and barely shy of clean in the center.  Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes.  (OK, so try anyway...)

I still need to try this with some mini chocolate will happen!!