Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Baked Apple Pancake

I could probably write out a long list of things I miss from my gluten-eating days...a fresh crepe from a street vendor in Paris, a crusty French baguette, deep dish spinach pizza from Gino's East in Chicago, Peshwari naan, and the list could go on and on....  But there is one thing on that list, that I do still indulge in at home, gluten-free style of course. The Baked Apple Pancake I used to enjoy at The Original Pancake House (we are not talking IHOP here).

My mom is to thank for this copycat recipes, she used to make it for us at home growing up, and I simply gluten-free-ized it so I could safely eat it now.

This is a quick and delicious dish for a weekend brunch for guests, or just for your own family.  It also works when you want breakfast for dinner - as we like in our house!

Baked Apple Pancake

6 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup gluten-free flour (I like using Pamela's in this recipe)
3 T. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 stick of butter
2 apples, peeled, thinly sliced
2-3 T. brown sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees;

Mix first 6 ingredients (slightly lumpy);

Melt butter in 12" porcelain quiche dish or 13 x 9 baking pan in the oven;
Add apple slices to pan. Return to oven 'til butter sizzles. Do not let brown;
Remove dish from oven and pour batter over apples. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffed and brown;

Serve immediately.

What is one of your favorite dishes that you have converted to be safe and gluten-free?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving: What to do?

A holiday completely based on food, a gluten-free eater's dream ...not usually, but it can be.  I like to take advantage of these big holidays and host them myself, so I can feel safe and make them my own.  I love being able to use my menus, my creativity and my ingredients.

But, sometimes we don't have the choice on whether to host.  I have eaten away from home on Thanksgiving, so it is definitely doable.  Here are some tips on how to make eating a Thanksgiving meal in a non-gluten-free home a little more relaxed and enjoyable in a post I wrote for Applegate Farms: 8 Tips for Being a Gluten-Free Guest on Thanksgiving.

Happy Turkey, or Happy un-Turkey, day!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cream of Broccoli Soup

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, I am just wanting to do simple and easy meals leading up to the big day of marathon cooking.  So after a full day of Santa and grocery shopping, I put together an impromptu cream of broccoli soup, and I have to say, it was yummy.  I had two bowls worth, and am now very full.

This recipe is in fact, simple, easy and quick.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

1 Tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
2 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped in 1-inch cubes
4-5 cups of chopped broccoli
6 cups of veggie (or chicken) broth
1/4 cup half & half
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
fresh ground pepper to taste

Melt butter in a stockpot at medium heat;

Add onions and sauté until translucent;

Add the potatoes, stir and cook 1 minute;

Add the broth, and bring to a boil;

Turn down to a simmer, and add the broccoli;

Return to a boil, and then simmer, covered for 20 minutes or until potatoes and broccoli are tender;

In batches, blend soup in a food processor, blender, or use an immersion blender in stockpot;

Return soup to pot, stir in half & half, nutmeg and pepper.

This would be great with crusty, gluten-free rolls like the new Udi's French dinner rolls.  I didn't have any on hand and it was great and satisfying on its own.

I would have posted a picture, but I inhaled my soup so fast, I didn't have a chance.

I am looking forward to my leftovers tomorrow!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pumpkin Crisp....move over pumpkin pie!

I am a huge pumpkin pie fan.  It seems people either love it or hate it, well, I am in the 'love it' camp.  And, it has to be fresh pumpkin, none of the this canned stuff.  I always buy the small pie pumpkins as soon as they show up at the store in October, so I can have them on hand through the holidays for pumpkin pie, bread, cookies...and now CRISP!

I have to admit, I have been ignorant on the ways of pumpkin crisp until this past week.  My daughter's class had a formal Thanksgiving feast this past Friday.  All the families were invited, and it was pot luck style with all of the traditional Thanksgiving Day foods.  Let's not even get started on how this can suck for someone who is gluten-free, but that is not the point of this post.  As I was eating away at my safe plate of mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes (which I made), I was eyeing this dessert dish labeled pumpkin crisp.  I had never heard of it before, but everyone seemed to be going crazy about it, and saying it was amazing.  I knew I couldn't eat it, but I knew I could go home and recreate it.  

As soon as I got home that afternoon, I went online and searched "pumpkin crisp", and I kept finding blog posts referencing a recipe from Southern Living (November, 2005), which coincidentally is one of my favorite magazines. Of course the recipe was not gluten-free, but really...is that going to stop me? No. And, I just happened to have some leftover pumpkin from a pumpkin pie I made earlier in the week.

I made this yesterday for friends and I can't stop eating the leftovers.  And it is so easy to make!  It is more like a pumpkin cake rather than what I would think of as a crisp (thinking apple or berry crisp), but has the right amount of cake and crispy texture on top.

A word of warning, this is not low fat.  

Here is my version.  The recipe calls for pecans on top, and since I am not crazy about nuts in my food, I have left that out, and made a couple of other small changes (less sugar, and gluten-free cake mix).

Pumpkin Crisp
2 cups fresh, roasted pumpkin (a 15 oz. can of pumpkin will also work)
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 package of yellow cake mix, I used Betty Crocker, gluten-free yellow cake mix
1 cup melted butter
1. Preheat over to 350'
2. Stir together pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon;
3. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish;
4. Pour the pumpkin mix into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture;
5. Drizzle butter evenly over cake mix;
4. Bake at 350' for an hour or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream if desired.

This is so sinfully delicious and easy, this may be my new go-to dessert for the holidays.  I am even thinking of replacing my traditional pumpkin pie with this. I don't think you will be disappointed.

It's getting chilly...

It is crazy how fast time flies, but that is clearly evident to me when I come to my blog, and see my last post was...3 months ago.  Yikes!  If I had as many posts as the ones I wrote in my head this blog would be much longer. And now it is almost winter!

It seems that my countless hours of volunteering for my daughter's school (namely being PTA Co-President this year - what was I on when I thought that was a good idea?), and the community have taken up a lot of my time.  But it doesn't mean that I have any less thoughts, recipes and gluten-free experiences.

Right now I am getting ready to host 9 people for a Thanksgiving feast...just 4 days away.  Gosh, it seems like it was just Halloween.  I have been planning my menu, writing shopping lists and deciding if I have enough dishes and pans to hold all of these dishes.  From roasted Brussels sprouts to classic mashed potatoes.

What is your favorite dish to cook and/or eat on Thanksgiving?