Monday, December 15, 2014

Cranberry Orange Almond Mug Cake

Cranberry Orange Almond Mug Cake

This gluten free Cranberry Orange Almond mug cake features sweet warm holiday flavors in an easy to make single serve cake.  Mug cakes are very appealing this time of the year especially if you’re trying to cut down a little before the holiday indulgences get into full swing.  Let’s face it, if you’re dying for a sweet treat and you make a whole cake or a batch of cupcakes, it will be highly unlikely that you’ll stop at just one.

With mug cakes on the other hand you can get your sweet fix and be done with it.  And mug cakes are very simple to throw together.  Forget what I just said.  Seriously, put that thought right out of your mind.  If you start thinking about how easy these are to make, you’ll once again be faced with the dilemma of trying to stop at just one.  All I can say is good luck staying on track during the holiday season.   

Cranberry Orange Almond Mug Cake
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 2 - 3 min

  • 5 tbsp almond meal (I used a variety with the skins)
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder  
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar 
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of fresh cranberries 

Video Tutorial: 

  1. In a 2 cup pyrex ramekin, stir together the dry ingredients (first 6 ingredients).
  2. Add the orange juice, vegetable oil and egg and mix until you have a smooth batter then stir in the cranberries.
  3. Microwave on high for 2 - 3 minutes depending on the shape of your cooking vessel and the wattage of your microwave..
  4. Let it rest for 1-2 minutes garnish with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Stuffing Meatballs

Stuffing Ball Turkey  Noodle Soup

This gluten free stuffing ball recipe transforms your leftover stuffing into light fluffy meatballs with Thanksgiving flair.  Think of them as sort of a hybrid between delicious matzo balls and those tiny meatballs you’d find in Italian wedding soup.  

And once baked the stuffing balls can be eaten by themselves as an appetizer or tossed into the homemade turkey soup most of make after Thanksgiving anyway.  They’re like big fluffy stuffing dumplings the whole family will love.

Stuffing Balls
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 min
Servings: 28 balls

  • 4 cups of leftover stuffing
  • 1 lb ground meat
  • ½ cup of grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper and crushed red pepper to taste

Video Tutorial: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (or 165 °C)
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together until you have a homogeneous mixture.
  3. Form balls that are about 1 ½ in diameter and place them onto a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with nonstick spray.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes on the upper rack of your oven then serve either as an appetizer or toss them into chicken or turkey soup, simmer an additional 15 minutes and serve. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Pumpkin Spiced Affagato

Pumpkin Spiced Affogato

Recently I was contacted by the kind people at Idylc Homes to see if I wanted to try their Kona French press and use it in one of my videos if I liked it.  Since my blog and Youtube channel have always been about creating recipes, I agreed to try it out and use the coffee in a recipe video. 

My reward was a new French press to add to my collection.  And your reward is a quick recipe for the easiest holiday spiced dessert you’ll ever make.  

Affogato is a classic Italian dessert that simply translated means drowned.  The name is fitting since affogato typically has two ingredients: ice cream and strong coffee or espresso to drown it.

I’ve taken this affogato one step further by borrowing the flavors of Starbucks pumpkin spiced latte and tossing some pumpkin pie spice into the mix.  This is perfect for pumpkin lovers everywhere.

If you’re using espresso in the recipe, then French pressed coffee is the only way to go.  It produces a smooth strong coffee that you'll never get in a drip machine.  

The Kona press worked well.  I think it can closest be compared to the Bodum press I have.  But the design on the carafe holder on the Kona press has a nicer design in my opinion. If you don't have a French press you might want to consider picking one up.

Idylc homes sent me 15% off discount code for me to pass on to you:    NSOA5WZQ  
The code is set to expire in November of 2015

The model I used can be found at Amazon HERE.

But the real star here is the affagato recipe.  It's actually so simple it's hard to call it a recipe but it's elegant enough to serve to company.

Pumpkin Spiced Affogato
Servings 2

  • 2 shots of espresso or strong French press coffee (I used the Kona French Press)
  • 1 ½ cups of premium ice cream (I used Haagen Dazs Vanilla Bean)
  • pumpkin pie spice (I used Mc Cormick’s pumpkin spice blend)

Video Tutorial

  1. Add ¾ cup of ice cream into a serving glass or coffee cup.
  2. Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice
  3. Pour over a tall shot glass of strong coffee.
  4. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and coffee bean if desired.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Gluten Free Cast Iron Skillet Corn Bread

 Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread - Gluten Free
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I needed to whip up a batch of gluten free skillet cornbread for the stuffing.  Many years I make both corn bread stuffing and the white bread variety.  Last year most of my guests were mixing them together.  

So this year I decided to make my stuffing with a mix of both toasted gluten free white bread and corn bread loaded with everything my family loves in their stuffing.  Let’s just say, if it doesn't have sausage and apples they’ll be disappointed.

Now onto the skillet cornbread, nothing beats the crust you get from baking your corn bread in a cast iron skillet. And a crusty cornbread is exactly what you need for stuffing or it could easily end up a mushy mess. 

For the skillet, I used my Lodge 10-inch to get the job done.  I love Lodge.  Cast iron cookware in general is so economical.  It lasts generations versus the few good years you’re able to get from even the priciest non-stick cookware I've tried.    

And I really enjoy sharing my cast iron cooking and care tutorials with my daughter.  I always finish up with a promise that someday my whole collection will be hers.  And of course she responds with that obligatory eye roll that all young teens have mastered. 

It’s all good. 

One day she’ll appreciate the cast iron collection as much as I do. 

Old Fashioned Cast Iron Skillet Corn Bread
Prep time:  10 min
Cook time: 30-35 min
Servings: 8-10

  • 2 cups gluten free Flour (I used Betty Crocker's All Purpose Blend)
  • 1 ½ cups fine ground corn meal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 eggs (at room temp)
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil or melted butter or melted lard
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil or melted lard (to grease the pan)

Video Tutorial: 

  1. Set the oven to 400°F (or 205 °C) and place a 10 inch cast iron skillet into the center oven to preheat.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. Lightly beat the eggs and sugar together then add the milk, buttermilk and ½ cup of vegetable oil or melted lard together.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until they’re well combined.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven, add the ¼ cup of melted lard or oil to the hot pan and swirl to coat the bottom and sides.
  6. Pour in the batter, spread to the edges of the pan and smooth the top.  The grease should come up around the sides of the batter and onto the top where it should be spread around with a spatula to aid the top crust browning. 
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto a serving plate or slice directly in the pan and serve.  

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