Posted in Sweets

Southern Comfort Gluten Free Brownies

These brownies are chewy little morsels of gluten-free goodness!  I created this recipe from several other recipes and it turned out great!

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Southern Comfort
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla bean paste (I use Nielsen-Massey)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 ounces semi sweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup sweet white rice flour

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Preheat you oven to 350 degrees, making sure your rack is in the center of the oven.  Grease an 8 x 8 square pan.  Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, under very low heat, melt the butter.  Add the chocolate and stir constantly till completely melted.  Remove from heat.
  3. Whip the eggs, sugar and salt on medium/high speed in a stand mixer till it is fluffy (should take 3-4 minutes).  Change speed to low and add the vanilla and the southern comfort, mix well.  Add the chocolate mixture (this should be warm, not hot) mix well.  Add the flour and mix just until combined.  Scrape the sides and bottom, making sure that everything is mixed.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan, making sure the top is all smooth.  Place in oven and bake 30-35 minutes until the brownie is pulling away from the pan.  Insert a toothpick in the center – if it comes out with just a few crumbs, if it is gooey, put back in the oven for a few more minutes.
  5. Cool completely in the pan before cutting.

NOTES:

Nielsen-Massey has awesome vanilla products.  They are actually certified gluten free!

Sweet rice flour is often called “glutinous” or “sticky.  This flour works better to hold these brownies together vs regular rice flour.  I used Ener-G brand, and it worked out great.

You can use all bittersweet chocolate if you prefer.  I did not have enough bittersweet chocolate in my cabinet so I mixed it with the semi sweet.

You could substitute any kind of liquor (making sure it is gluten free) in this recipe.  I considered using Grand Mariner, Jack Daniels, Midori etc….

Tip to cut brownies – chill them in the fridge for a couple hours or days before cutting.  Dip your knife in hot water  before cutting the brownies making sure to wipe the knife clean and dry after each cut.

Live & LOVE gluten free!

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Posted in Sweets

No Bake Cheesecake with Apple Topping

I saw this recipe this morning at Delight Gluten Free while looking for a cool dish to serve this hot weekend.  It looks so good and simple I wanted to share with you all.  Be sure to check out their website for other great recipes and tips!

SERVES 8-10 PREP 10 Min COOK 5 MIN

This dessert is perfect any time you want that special creamy dessert and don’t want to use your oven. Your friends will ask you to make this over and over!

Crust:
6 tablespoons butter
½ cup sugar
8 ounces crushed gluten-free graham crackers (I used Kinnikinnick graham cracker crust)

Filling:
16 ounces cream cheese
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Topping:
4 tablespoons butter
2 apples, peeled and thinly sliced (multipurpose apples—I used Gala)
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

  1. To make the crust, melt the butter and in a small mixing bowl, combine butter with the gluten-free graham cracker crumbs.
  2. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9” pie dish or a spring form pan.
  3. To make the filling, in a mixing bowl and using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream with the sugar to soft peaks. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix softened cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice, and cinnamon on low speed. Gently fold the whipped cream into this mixture. Pour on top of crust and place into the refrigerator to set.
  5. Meanwhile, in a pan over medium heat, melt the butter for the topping and add the sugar, cinnamon, and the apples. Cook until the apples are softened; remove from heat and cool.
  6. Serve the cheesecake with the apple topping.

Live and LOVE Gluten free!

Posted in Gluten Free Recipes, Sweets

Banana Nutella Muffins

This recipe is FABULOUS!

Original muffins:

My gluten-free version:

 

2 cups GLUTEN-FREE flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3 very ripe bananas, soft, darkly speckled, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon GLUTEN-FREE vanilla extract
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup Nutella

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with rubber spatula until just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. Fold in hazelnuts.

Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups.  Place 1 teaspoon of Nutella on top of each muffin. Swirl with a toothpick. Bake until golden and toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and serve.

NOTES:  Baking soda is naturally gluten-free.  Nutella is gluten-free!  Yogurt is naturally gluten-free, but because of additives, please check the label.  PLEASE CHECK your vanilla, not all extract is gluten-free – McCormicks is good, I use Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract which is gluten-free but a little pricey.  I really like Pamela’s Baking mix for all of my sweet baking and have found that I can use it as a cup for cup exchange in all of my old tried and true recipes.  Also check your non-stick cooking spray – not all are gluten-free!

In this gluten-free version……..I did not swirl in the nutella.  The muffin has a banana bread texture…a bit heavier but very moist.  I use very dark bananas so the batter is darker than usual.  This muffin was excellent and I will be making this again!

A big shout out to Diane Krejci Sullivan who found this recipe at Sweet Pea’s Kitchen (http://sweetpeaskitchen.com/).  I modified it to make it gluten-free.  Thank you Christina for an amazing recipe.

Posted in Books and Websites

Gluten Free Product Resources – Part 1

In my never-ending quest for new gluten-free information, I have found two great websites for GF products and or services.  Check these both out (and don’t forget to bookmark them if you like them!), I am sure they will be very helpful.

The first one is Gluten Free Find.

Your most comprehensive gluten-free directory, with “everything gluten-free from A to Z”

Healthy living focused, free and easy to navigate, no registration required.  You’ll find it all here – accessibility, gluten-free style!

Simply click on a city, and then click on a category!

NOTE:  The city area is limited if you are in a rural area like I am, but this is perfect if I should need to make a day trip to Chicago.  Bakeries, spas, manufacturers and more.

The second one is GF Overflow.

GF Overflow is a searchable database of gluten-free products that at the time of this post lists over 9,000 gluten-free products across a broad range of mainstream brands and categories.

You can use our search box to find relevant gluten-free products, or browse our full listings organized by food category or brand.

Results will only show you product matches that have been stated by the manufacturer to be gluten-free. They also provide you with the manufacturer’s gluten policy, website information and contact info.

NOTE:  This is a pretty good site.  Very basic, no pictures or summaries, but information you need.  Once you have found the product, click further to get more details.

Live and LOVE the gluten-free life!

Posted in Restaurant Review

The Public House of Williams Bay

2 W Geneva St, Williams Bay WI 53191    262.245.5100
http://wphdine.com/GlutenFreeMenu.aspx

Lets start by saying that this restaurant has three locations.  I went to the one in Williams Bay, WI.  There is another one in Woodstock, IL and also Crystal Lake, IL.

I am giving them my highest rating of ♦♦♦♦ with 21 out of 25 possible points.

Gluten-free food menu:  The link above is to their gluten-free menu.  Their selection is outstanding.  Their three gluten-free appetizers were selections I’ve not seen in other places. Buffalo wings?  Quesadillas?  Yesss!  We chose the shrimp and mushrooms.  This was served with corn chips.  Before the plate was even set down, the aroma had me salivating.  It was SO good I could have eaten it with a spoon.  Garlicky, but not too much.  Every bite was an explosion of flavor!

Decor: Lots of dark rich wood.  Nicely lit,  not so bright your eyes squinted, but no so dark you needed to pull out a flashlight.   The tables were organized in a way that you did not feel you were eating with the next table.  Everything was clean. Nice music that blended into the background.  Staff all dressed neatly in black.

Service:  Our server Elliot Taylor was awesome.  He was very friendly and had a great sense of humor.  He was very knowledgeable about the gluten-free options.  For a couple of unusual questions I had about gluten-free items, he did not hesitate to check with the chef.  I felt very comfortable, not worrying that I would end up being glutened by the end of the night!  The bartender, Steve, who I believe to be one of the owners, was awesome.  He made the perfect dirty martini.  Twice.

Cost:  Under $40 per person.  Being the Lake Geneva area we expected it to be a little more expensive so we were not too surprised at the prices.  At the bar we had three drinks and one appetizer, it was $35.  I believe the quality of the food was better also – warranting a higher price.

Taste:  Wowsa.  For dinner I had the fish special of Mahi Mahi served with wild rice and steamed vegetables (Mahi Mahi flown in from Hawaii).  It came with a big ole salad of mixed spring greens and romaine with fabulous house dressing (roasted garlic vinaigrette). The wild rice was cooked just right………it was not crunchy like often happens when I order this out.  The fish was excellently flavored, not overpowering in the least so I could taste the fish and the red pepper cream sauce with each bite.  Other items enjoyed at the table – fish fry, “prime” rib eye and a pulled pork sandwich.  Only issue……the “prime” was very fatty, but the flavor was great.  The desserts were excellent.  Sadly they did not have their gluten-free dessert, death by chocolate, so I skipped dessert, but the rest of the table enjoyed deep-fried cheese cake, black tie chocolate cake and turtle  ice cream cake.  Every bit gone.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this restaurant.  I will come back again AND I would bring guests.  If you find yourself in Williams Bay, WI, Woodstock, IL or Crystal Lake, IL – make it a point to stop here and enjoy a meal.  You will NOT be disappointed.

Live and LOVE gluten-free!

Posted in Gluten Free Recipes

Birthday Cake Martini

1.5 oz Vanilla Vodka
1.5 oz Cranberry Juice
1.5 oz Champagne
Icing
Sprinkles
Maraschino Cherries

Rim glasses by dipping them in icing then in sprinkles.

Combine vodka and cranberry juice in an ice shaker, half filled with ice. Shake well and strain into glass. Top with Champagne and drop in a cherry.

NOTES:  As with all of my recipes, MAKE sure your ingredients are gluten-free.  FYI – Funfetti Pink Vanilla Frosting from Pillsbury is gluten-free.  As far as the sprinkles go, most you see in the store should be gluten-free.  The cherries are gluten-free as well and will probably indicate that on the side of the jar.

A big THANK YOU to Pamasaurus at http://omnomalicious.wordpress.com for this great recipe!!

Posted in Gluten Free Recipes, Sweets

Chocolate-Strawberry Cheesecake

This recipe I created myself from a whole bunch of recipes.  I made this for Easter (2012) and it was a hit!  Yummm!  Sorry I didn’t take a picture……..it was very pretty!

1 Package of gluten free chocolate crème sandwich cookies
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups of sliced fresh strawberries
12 ounce container of cool whip
1 ½ cup sour cream
1 pkg of cream cheese
1 small box sugar-free instant chocolate pudding
2 ounces of gluten-free chocolate chips
1 teaspoon butter

Crust:  Crush the cookies in a food processor or blender.  If neither available, crush them as fine as you can with a zip bag and rolling pin.

Add the butter a little at a time until the texture will is crumbly, not like a paste. There is a possibility you will not use the entire amount of butter.

Press the crust into the bottom of a greased 8” or 10” spring-form pan.  Put in the fridge to chill while you work on the rest.

Cheesecake layer:  Mix the cool whip, sour cream and cream cheese well.  I used my standing mixer for this. Add the chocolate pudding, mix well again.

Assembly:  Spread half of the cheesecake mixture evenly onto the cooled crust.

Lay your strawberries over entire cheesecake, if it makes a thick layer that’s ok too!  Save 6-8 slices of strawberries  for the top garnish.

Spread the last half of the cheesecake mixture over the strawberries.  Arrange the leftover strawberries in the center, like a flower.

Glaze:  Melt 1 teaspoon of butter in the microwave.  Add the chocolate chips and stir.  If it is not quite melted enough, microwave in 10 second increments.  Do not microwave too long or it will get hard and icky.

When glaze is smooth and stirs nicely, drizzle over the top of cheesecake.  I drizzled mine in a flower-like loop pattern all around the cake.

Refrigerate overnight or at least several hours before serving.

Notes:  PLEASE CHECK ALL LABELS TO MAKE SURE ALL INGREDIENTS ARE GLUTEN FREE

If your strawberries are not sweet, feel free to cut them ahead of time and LIGHTLY sprinkle them with sugar or stevia.

I used the Glutino brand chocolate crème sandwich cookies, but I’ve had the K-toos and those are great too.

I used Jello brand instant pudding, Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips, Philadelphia brand cream cheese and Daisy brand sour cream.

Options – you can change up the flavors of this easily:

Add 1 tablespoon of some kind of liquor or coffee to the crust – say Bailey’s Irish Cream, Frangelico, Grand Marnier etc…..

Change the flavor of the pudding you add – pistachio, banana cream (with banana filling), Coconut Cream…..

Change up the fruit too – blueberries, raspberries or even a combination.