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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Sugar Cookies and Snickerdoodles

 

If you keep the gluten free flours on hand, these cookies come together quickly anytime the warm-cookies-NOW urge strikes.

I have actually found that I tend to throw these cookies together a little too quickly… on two separate occasions, I have forgotten the xantham gum and the baking soda and powder. I guess the good news is that this seems to be a fairly robust recipe… the texture was affected slightly, but the cookies were still very tasty.

 

Nevertheless, it’s worth taking a minute after you have made the flour blend and making sure all of the ingredients actually made it in the bowl!

 

Yield: 18 cookies using #40 portion scoop

 

 Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 c. sugar (150 g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract (recommended: Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste)

 

  • 1/2 c. rice flour (75 grams)
  • 1/2 c. corn starch (70 grams)
  • 1/2 c. tapioca starch (60 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • salt (I use 1/2 teaspoon with unsalted butter, 1/4 teaspoon with salted butter)

 

  • additional sugar for rolling dough in (~1/4 cup)
  • optional: cinnamon for snickerdoodles

Other Equipment:

  • parchment lined baking sheet
  • #40 portion scoop (optional)
  • electric mixer

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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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Chocolate Walnut Cookies

This is François Payard’s recipe for a flour-less, butter-less cookie that has a delicious fudgy interior and a beautiful shiny exterior.

The dough is not going to look like typical cookie dough. In fact, the first time my mother made this recipe, she thought the batter was such a sad prospect for cookies that she dumped it in a pan and baked it like brownies instead… and those tasted great, too!

Ingredient note: If you are making these gluten free, make sure to check the brand of walnuts that you buy. I have noticed a few brands, and specifically Diamond brand, have a warning on the back that their product is made in a factory with wheat products.

 

Yield: 24 cookies using #40 portion scoop

 Ingredients:

  •  2-3/4 c. walnuts (halves and pieces)
  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • ¾ c. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • optional: 1/4 to 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

Other Equipment:

  • parchment paper
  • portion scoop (optional)

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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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Peanut Butter Cookies

These peanut butter cookies are easy to make and don’t require any specialty flours. If you are making them for the Celiac in your life, and don’t keep a gluten free kitchen, I would recommend using fresh jars of peanut butter, and as always make sure all other ingredients are gluten free and uncontaminated as well.

Yields: 16 cookies using #40 portion scoop

 Ingredients:

  •  1 c. traditional peanut butter (such as Skippy), or combine 1/2 c. traditional PB and 1/2 c. natural PB
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla (recommended: Nielsen-Massey)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

 Other Equipment:

  • Electric mixer
  • parchment lined cookie sheet
  • portion scoop (optional)

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