Stuffed Strawberries

Gluten free stuffed strawberries - cream cheese and whipped cream

Here is a cool, no-bake summer dessert – and it doesn’t even need Jello or Cool-Whip. These little guys are stuffed with a slightly sweet whipped cream and cream cheese filling. The cream cheese stabilizes the whipped cream, so the shelf life is much longer than for plain whipped cream. If you don’t feel like individually stuffing berries, just serve the cream as a dip along with a variety of fresh fruit.

 

This dessert looks the prettiest when you use small to medium sized strawberries.

 

Yield: About 2 – 1/2 cups of cream filling

 

Ingredients:

 

  • Strawberries (filling recipe makes enough to fill up to 2 pounds)
  • 4 oz (114 g) cream cheese
  • 1/4 c.(50 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (recommended: Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste)
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream

 

Other Equipment:

 

  • small knife for hulling berries
  • electric mixer fitted with a whip attachment
  • pastry bag fitted with star tip

 

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Fudgies… or No-Bake Cookies – A geographic and cultural debate!

gluten free fudgies

The proper name for these cookies is a matter of some debate in my household. My husband – and most of the country, as far as I can tell – calls these cookies “no-bake cookies.” In my family, these cookies go by one name and one name only – “fudgies”. My grandmother was a bona fide cookie lady for many years, making cookies at a high school cafeteria in Massachusetts. She called these fudgies, and I don’t know about you, but I’m not arguing with a cookie lady!

 

Another reason why these cookies should be called “fudgies” – you cook the base as you would cook a fudge candy. This is the reason why some people have difficulty with the cookies coming out dry and crumbly, or so soft that they never firm up. Most recipes specify a cooking time, which can vary from one to five minutes, and your results can vary wildly based on the size of the pot you use, or if you scale the recipe up or down. If you want to avoid dry or mushy fudgies, it’s time to haul out the candy thermometer. Fudge is cooked to 240ºF (soft ball stage), but I prefer to slightly undercook the sugar mixture to 220ºF. This results in a slightly creamier, glossier cookie.

 

Using a candy thermometer sounds like a pain, but you may only need to use it a few times, and you can record how long you needed to boil the sugar mixture. Just keep in mind that if you double or half the recipe, or use a different sized pot, your timing will probably change. A candy thermometer is the only way to guarantee consistent results every time.

 

Ingredient note: This recipe contains gluten free oats. Some people on gluten free diets cannot tolerate oats, even if they are certified gluten free. If you are sharing these cookies, please let any GF dieters know that they contain oats!

 

Yield: 30 cookies using #40 portion scoop

Ingredients:

  •  2 c. white sugar ( 400 g)
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder (20 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick or 114 g)
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter (140 g)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  •  3 c. old fashioned gluten free oats (285 g)

Other Equipment:

  • parchment paper or waxed paper
  • cookie scoop
  • candy thermometer
  • 6 Qt pot
  • rubber spatula

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Butternut Squash Soup

gluten free butternut squash soup

 

This is a simple soup that comes together quickly, but the squash takes a while to roast and cool. The roasting can be done a day in advance if you are pressed for time in the evenings.

Yield: 6-7 cups

 

 Ingredients:

whole butternut squash (2-3 lbs)
4 cups GF chicken broth, divided (recommended: Kitchen Basics brand)
1 medium onion

2-4 tablespoons olive oil

white pepper

salt ground cayenne pepper

nonstick cooking spray

optional: sour cream

 

Other Equipment:

baking dish

immersion or stand blender

6Q pot

mesh strainer

spatula

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Chocolate Icing

This chocolate icing recipe is based on the Pioneer Woman’s  sticky chocolate icing. I scaled it up a bit since the original recipe left small amounts of sweetened condensed milk languishing in my fridge.

This batch makes enough icing to frost two batches of yellow cupcakes (recipe here). This stuff freezes well, so after frosting your cupcakes, scoop the rest of the icing into a resealable container, let it cool, and then freeze. When you make your next batch of cupcakes, just microwave the frozen icing and stir it every minute. As it softens, shorten the time between stirs to 30 seconds.

 

Sometimes the icing doesn’t always last until the next batch of cupcakes…

 

Yield: ~ 2 c. icing (enough for two batches of 18-21 cupcakes)

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 14 oz. (396 g) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 oz. (226 g) semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons butter

Other Equipment:

  • medium sized saucepan
  • spatula
  • small spoon

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Weeknight Chicken Noodle Soup

Around our house, this soup is the first line of defense against colds, headaches, and feeling under the weather. As soon as sniffles are heard, we gather the ingredients to get this soup going.

 

I consider this a “weeknight” chicken soup because the broth is not based on a homemade chicken stock, it just comes out of a box. The active preparation time for this soup is minimal, but the chicken does take time to roast and cool. If I know I am going to be pressed for time in the evening, I sometimes roast the chicken a day in advance.

 

Speaking of chicken, this soup is extra tasty if you use bone-in, skin on chicken breasts. Sure, boneless, skinless breasts work as as well, but I think the extra taste is worth some additional fat!

 

The noodles in this soup suck up lots of broth, so stick with simple shapes like shells or elbows that will hold up well. If you like your soup to have plenty of broth, you may want to add an extra container of chicken stock to the soup when reheating it the next day.

 

Yield: 12 cups

 

Ingredients:

  • ~ 1 lb chicken breasts (1 full chicken breast or two split breasts)
  • 2 – 32 oz. containers Kitchen Basics chicken broth or unsalted chicken broth
  • 2 – 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large or 1-1/2 medium white or yellow onions
  • 3 – 4 celery stalks
  • ~2 c. baby carrots or 2-3 peeled and trimmed carrots
  • 1/2 c. GF pasta shells or elbows (I use Tinkyada brand)
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried poultry seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • salt – to taste
  • optional: fresh thyme or parsley. I use them if I happen to have them around, but don’t purchase them just for soup.

Other Equipment:

  • meat thermometer
  • 8 QT or larger soup pot
  • baking dish
  • aluminum foil

Ingredient note: I love Kitchen Basics brand broth. I have tried some of the other GF brands out there, and I think this one tastes the best. It is carried in regular supermarkets, no specialty stores required. And for some reason the NO GLUTENS that they put all over the package always makes me smile.

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Pico de Gallo

I’m not a fan of cilantro, and I really dislike raw tomatoes, so I was surprised by how much I like this pico de gallo. It tastes so fresh, and the lime juice makes it nice and zippy. It’s great on tortilla chips, or dump it on fish tacos and chicken fajitas.

 

Half of a jalapeño in this dip only gives it a little kick, so add more to taste if you would like it hotter.

 

Yield: 2.5 cups

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Campari tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • small bunch of cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeño (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 fresh lime
  • salt

 

Other equipment:

  • Food-safe gloves

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French Onion Dip – No Soup Packets Required!

 

I have included quantities for the measurement-inclined, but this recipe is easy to play with. You can caramelize shallots with the onions, add a clove of finely diced garlic with the Worcestershire sauce, or leave out the cayenne if you don’t want a little kick.

This dip tastes best if you allow it to chill overnight. Just let it warm up on the counter for 15 minutes (you don’t want it so firm that it breaks your chips!), give it a stir, and serve.

 

 

Modified from: Williams-Sonoma 

 

Yield: 1-3/4 cups

 

Ingredients:

  •  1 large onion or 1-1/2 medium onions (1-1/2 to 1-3/4 c. diced onion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 c. room temperature water (for use as needed)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins says GLUTEN FREE on the label)
  • 1 1/4 c. sour cream
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 

Other Equipment:

  •  Pan, approximately 10 inch diameter

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