Honey Citrus Salad

honey citrus salad

honey citrus salad

Honey Citrus Salad

You can’t beat having fresh fruit available during the summer. It is one of the easiest snacks to grab on the go especially with the abundance of fresh fruit markets available during the summer months.  A fruit salad is an easy “go-to” treat to bring with for any summer party or even to keep on hand in your home!  The following recipe is super easy and quick to put together for those last minute parties or even for a snack for yourself. The dressing is easy to make and we keep it on hand in our refrigerator for a few days at a time since it keeps pretty well. I’m sure it would last longer than a few days but we’ve never made it past a week without running out!  All we have to do is grab a few handfuls of fruit and toss them with the dressing and you’re good to go! Now quick note- if you do not eat all of the salad in the first two days, things tend to get mushy and start to spoil. That is why we keep the dressing on hand and add it to fresh fruit as we need it!

Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup honey
  • zest of two limes
  • juice of two limes

Combine ingredients and mix well.  You can double this easily and save some for another day!

Salad

  • 2 cups strawberries- hulled & halved
  • 1 cup pineapple diced
  • 2 kiwis- sliced and quartered
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • mandarin oranges 12 oz

Combine fruit and toss with dressing. Add dressing slowly, making sure to cover fruit. If you add too much it will pool at the bottom of the bowl so be careful. Make sure to toss fruit before serving to allow juices to evenly disperse.

Enjoy!

xoxo

Sweet Irish Soda Bread

Sweet Irish Soda Bread

Sweet Irish Soda Bread

Okay I know it is not St. Paddy’s Day but this is one of my favorite recipes. I decided to make a batch this weekend because we are having a party at our house and wanted to have a homemade “sweets table” for our guests. Of course, I want it all gluten free for two reasons. First, and most importantly, I want to enjoy the treats and not worry about cross contamination! Secondly, I love proving to people that gluten free can be yummy. Now I wouldn’t necessarily do this for just any party, but some of the guests have celiac disease as well so I know that it will be appreciated by them! Oh and just a tip- if you decide to do bulk baking for parties or the holidays- Costco carries Namaste Perfect Blend Gluten Free Flour in HUGE bags. Woohoo!Soda bread is generally a “heavy bread” so this recipe works well gluten free since the flour usually tends to make things a bit heavier.

When you are ready to serve your bread, you can serve it with some butter as well. I usually heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds or so just to warm it up so the butter will melt. Clearly this won’t help your diet or healthy eating lifestyle, but sometimes you need to indulge!

Sweet Irish Soda Bread

  • 5 cups of flour
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 ½ cups raisins
  • 2 ½ cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter and flour a large cake pan (I use a large sprinform pan as this recipe is pretty big, but I also use two small cake pans occasionally to make smaller loaves)
  3. In a large bowl, combine your gluten free flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add raisins and mix again. This will help break up the raisins a bit so they are not in huge clumps since they tend to stick together.
  5. Add softened butter, eggs, buttermilk, and heavy cream slowly until well incorporated. To make this easier you can mix the wet ingredients together and then slowly pour them into the wet ingredients while mixing. Be careful to not over mix!
  6. Pour into your floured pan.
  7. Bake for 60-75 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the loaf. If you made smaller loaves make sure you start checking them around 45 minutes because they will take less time to cook!
  8. Allow the bread to cool for 10-15 minutes before removing from the pan. Ideally you would then let it finish cooling on a wire rack, but I’ll be honest. I tend to dig in right about… NOW.

Enjoy!

xoxo

Gluten Free Lemon- Blueberry Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon Blueberry CakeI think it is fair to say that my husband has a bit of a sweet tooth. I tried a new recipe for a gluten free blueberry cake a few weeks ago and, apparently, it was so good that my husband actually asked me to make it again for him- gluten free and all. Yeah, my kitchen is pretty much 90% gluten free, but occasionally I do make gluten containing foods more so if we are entertaining and well, I’m on a budget. Granted it also helps with my diet because I’m not tempted to eat those yummy treats either!  However, this cake works wonderfully gluten free! Oh and I should warn you- the frosting is addictive. I had made a bit extra last time I made this cake and it didn’t go to waste! (It was great on fruit, but straight off the spoon was amazing too!)

Lemon-Blueberry Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3 cups gluten free flour (our favorite is Namaste Perfect Blend)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Zest from ½ lemon
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 tsp lemon extract
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Butter two 9 inch round baking pans and dust lightly with flour
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add gluten free flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until well blended.
  4. Combine milk, sour cream, and lemon juice in a small bowl and allow to rest.
  5. In a separate large bowl, combine butter, sugar, and lemon zest until fluffy.
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, into the butter mixture. Once well incorporated, add the lemon and vanilla extracts.
  7. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk. Repeat with the other half of the flour mixture and milk until well combined.
  8. Fold in blueberries.
  9. Divide batter into the two baking pans.
  10. Bake approximately 25 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean)
  11. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before inverting onto a rack to finish cooling.
  12. Frost with lemon cream cheese frosting.

Frosting

  • 16 oz cream cheese (2 packages)
  • 1 ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 4 ½ cups powdered sugar
  1. Using an electric mixer or a hand mixer, whip butter until fluffy.
  2. Add cream cheese and continue to whip until well blended.
  3. Add vanilla extract, lemon extract, and powdered sugar and blend until fluffy (this may take a bit so don’t be surprised if you’re still at it after a few minutes!
  4. Frost cake.
  5. Lick bowl. Seriously. It’s delicious.

Enjoy!

xoxo

Gluten free pumpkin pound cake

gluten free pumpkin pound cake

gluten free pumpkin pound cake

If you haven’t figured it out by now, my husband has a bit of a sweet tooth. In fact, he’s pretty much my go-to taste tester for these recipes because he is extremely picky when it comes to gluten free food. Now, a few weeks ago, he had a piece of pumpkin poundcake at his favorite coffee shop and kept talking about it. My mature response? Challenge accepted!

Pumpkin Pound Cake

  • 1 ¾ cups gluten free flour (again, Namaste Perfect Blend has been my go to choice)
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ½ cup vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites
  • 15oz canned pumpkin
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. In a bowl, combine your dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine sugar, yogurt, egg whites, and pumpkin.
  4. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients
  5. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 75 minutes. Make sure you double check with a tooth pick! Pound cakes are more dense and can take a bit longer to cook through!
  6. Allow cake to cool completely before coating with glaze.

Glaze

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  1. Whisk egg white, vanilla, and 1 tbsp water
  2. slowly add powdered sugar to form a glaze. Slowly add the second tbsp of water if your glaze is too thick

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Maple Cupcakes

Pumpkins Spice Maple Cupcake

Given that it is that time of year again, my husband asked if I would bake a batch of pumpkin cupcakes for him. However, his new request was for a different frosting than I had used last time. His suggestion this round was for a maple frosting like he had seen at a coffee shop and was craving. Well, after a few tries at the frosting, I think we found a winner! I stuck with the same recipe I’ve used before for the cake, and I’m still a huge fan of using the gluten free yellow cake mixes. There’s no thinking involved in figuring out flour combinations so take advantage of it when you can!

Pumpkin Spice Cake:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (gluten free of course!)
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 15 oz. pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ tsp vanilla extract

If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice on hand you can mix up a batch of your own! This will make 7 tsp of pumpkin pie spice so you will have a bit left over to use later!

  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line pans with your favorite cupcake liners
  3. Mix together cake mix, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon and set aside
  4. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, eggs, oil and vanilla extract until smooth
  5. Add cake mix/spice mixture slowly
  6. Fill cupcake liners to ¾ full and bake for 18-20 minutes. Keep a close eye on them though after 15 minutes to make sure they don’t burn!
  7. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting!

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened  (and no cheating with low fat versions here!)
  • 3 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1½  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½-¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 oz heavy whipping cream
  1. Beat cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until smooth
  2. Add cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup
  3. Slowly add in heavy cream and continue to beat until stiff peaks begin to form
  4. Pipe onto cupcakes and enjoy!

enjoy!

XOXO

Gluten Free Fig Cookies (Cuccidati)

Italian Fig CookiesCuccidati, or fig cookies as they are more often called, are one the popular treats that pop up around the holiday season.  A staple in Sicily, these yummy Christmastime cookies are filled with figs, dates, raisins, and a variety of spices! They are a bit time consuming to make, but worth the effort!

Filling

  • 2 cups dried figs
  • 1 cups dried dates
  • 1 cup raisins
  • ¾ cup chopped almonds
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¾ cup orange marmalade
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • 1½  tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves

Dough

  • 4 cups gluten free flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 ½ tbsp. vanilla extract

Icing

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp water
  1. Finely chop walnuts and almonds using a food processor and place in a large bowel
  2. Remove hard tips from figs and pits from dates
  3. Grind dates, figs, and raisins in the food processor, until well blended. Add to large bowel.
  4. Place marmalade in food processor with honey, brandy, and spices and blend. This will also help chop up the marmalade a it so that it is a smooth consistency. Pour into bowl and mix well. Your mixture should be thick at this point.
  5. Cool for at least 4 hours, or overnight
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  7. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl
  8. Add butter to mixture and blend until well incorporated
  9. Whisk egg, milk and vanilla together then slowly add to dough mixture
  10. Divide dough in 4 sections, making a 18x3in rectangle (I use a pizza cutter to get straight edges once I roll it out. You can make longer rectangles but 12-18 inches is much easier to work with)
  11. Place filling in center of rectangle and roll dough over filling, pinching seam to close completely. Wet you fingers with water to help seal the dough
  12. Roll dough over so that the seam is facing downward, slice into 1 inch sectionsfig cookies
  13. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown
  14. Allow cookies to completely cool
  15. Whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla, egg white and water. You may need to add additional water if it is too thick. Icing should be easy to spread and drip a bit down the sides of the cookies, but not watery
  16. Apply icing to cookies and decorate with colored sprinkles.

Enjoy!

xoxo

Gluten Free Tiramisu Cupcakes

Gluten Free Tiramisu CupcakesIn case you’re not familiar with tiramisu, it is a popular Italian dessert. It is traditionally coffee-flavored, made with ladyfingers dipped in coffee between layers of mascarpone cheese and sugar with chocolate. Tiramisu literally translates as “pick me up”. How perfect is that? Now, lady fingers aren’t generally gluten free unless you search really hard for them and, to be honest, I prefer cupcakes to traditional tiramisu cake.  The recipe is fairly straightforward, so don’t let the multiple steps scare you off! You’ll thank me later!

Cake:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs + 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 3 cups gluten free flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 packets instant coffee

Filling:

  • 8oz mascarpone
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp strong coffee (you can make your own strong coffee, but I usually add 1/2 cup hot water with 1 packet of instant coffee)

Combine ingredients until well mixed, do not over blend. (Now, feel free to make extra filling- it’s great to stuff in strawberries or ummm lick the bowl)

Cream cheese frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  1. Using a whisk, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.
  2. Add cream and beat until beaks form. Unless you have crazy strong arms, I’d use a mixer for this step!

Cupcake instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Line pan with cupcake liners
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter, oil and sugar
  4. Add egg whites, egg, and oil.
  5. Sift dry ingredients
  6. Slowly add half of the dry ingredients to wet ingredients
  7. Add buttermilk and vanilla
  8. Combine the remainder of the dry ingredients
  9. Fill cupcake liners with batter until about ¾ full
  10. Bake for 16-18 minutes until slightly golden
  11. Allow to cool completely
  12. Scoop out the center of the cupcakes. I usually use a knife and cut out a cone shaped center. You can use those fancy gadgets to core cupcakes but this is the easiest way!
  13. Add filling to cupcakes to fill the hole you just removed
  14. Top with frosting
  15. If you want to be fancy, sprinkle cocoa powder over top of cupcakes or use chocolate shavings. You can use a Hershey bar and a knife to make shavings. Best part? You can eat the rest of the bar later!

 

Enjoy!

xoxo

Gluten Free Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

ImageThanksgiving is quickly approaching, though I’m not sure how it got here so soon this year! One of my mom’s favorite treats this time of year are my oatmeal cranberry cookies. I missed enjoying them when I first started living gluten free, but I managed to make a few changes to the recipe and found great oats to use and again, my favorite flour to use for holiday baking. Now, if you didn’t already realize that oats can be a problem on a gluten free diet then listen up. Generally speaking- oats are gluten free. The problem comes in their production at the factory- lots of cross contamination! In fact, a story in the Chicago SunTimes a few years ago showed that the gluten levels can be over 900ppm! Gluten free food is generally considered to be under 20ppm so thats pretty insane! There are a few gluten free options on there for oats so feel free to use other brands as well- but just make sure that they are not instant oats since those will not work well in this recipe and you will end up with a crunchy blob instead of a soft yummy oatmeal cookie!

  • 1 ½ cups gluten free flour (Namaste perfect blend)
  • 3 cups gluten free old fashioned rolled oats (my favorite gluten free brand is Bob’s Red Mill
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, and baking soda
  3. In a separate large bowl, blend together butter and sugars until light and fluffy then beat in eggs and vanilla
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients until well combined
  5. Stir in cranberries
  6. Drop dough in approximately 1 inch balls 4 inches apart on baking sheets. You can make it really easy by using a cookie dough scoop
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden
  8. Allow cookies to cool slightly in order to set, then transfer to a wire rack to allow them to cool completely

Enjoy!

xoxo

Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies

20131104-095936.jpgGoodbye Halloween! Hello Thanksgiving! Time to make the transition to the next holiday! Now, I am definitely one of those people that absolutely loves this time of year. However, if I am to be perfectly honest, I may love it a little too much and struggled to NOT pull out the Christmas decorations while looking for my Thanksgiving centerpieces. I nearly justified putting up a Christmas tree as long as I didn’t put the ornaments on. Yeah. I’m one of those. You would think I was six instead of thirty-something! So this recipe is a perfect reflection of my holiday dilema! Christmas gingersnap cookies combined with yummy fall pumpkin? Ah-maze-ing!

  • ½ cup of pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup of maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup of butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, plus more to roll your cookies in
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups gluten free flour (again I used Namaste Perfect Blend)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and 1 cup sugar together until smooth.
  3. Add the pumpkin, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla extract to the large bowl and mix until well combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients to large bowl slowly and mix until combined.
  5. Chill dough for 1 hour. If you skip this step your cookies may not be soft and fluffy!
  6. Peheat oven to 350° F.
  7. Place small amount of sugar in a small bowl.
  8. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough in sugar until well coated and place on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  9. Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until cookies look cracked and set at the edges.
  10. Allow the cookies to cool for a 2-3 minutes after removing them from the oven, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. They will be soft when you remove them from the oven, but if you allow them to cool before transferring them to the wire rack will alow them to set and firm up just a bit!

Enjoy!

xoxo

Banana Bread Delight

20131028-135859.jpgWhen I was little, my mom and I would spend our weekends at our family house in Michigan. There was a store down the road the sold the BEST banana bread ever. Seriously- I’d eat the entire loaf by the end of the day.   This is my favorite recipe for banana bread.  The best part is, banana bread is meant to be heavy so gluten free baking is a little easier. I suggest using your favorite gluten free flour and for stuff like this my “go-to” choice is Namaste Foods Perfect Flour Blend. Xanthan gum is already included so it’s one less step to worry about!

  • 2 cups gluten free flour blend
  • 4 overripe bananas
  • 1 ½  teaspoons baking soda
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Combine gluten free flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk bananas and sugar until you make a banana cream
  4. Add melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well
  5. Slowly mix in dry ingredients
  6. Gently fold in chopped pecans
  7. Spray loaf pan with oil or prepare with grease (I prefer the spray to save on calories)
  8. Bake for 90 minutes. When finished, the bread should be golden. Depending on your oven, you may need to rotate the loaf as well (I usually rotate it around 45 minutes)
  9. Allow bread to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the pan. It should cool completely before slicing.

If you’re looking for an extra treat, you can sprinkle powdered sugar on slices as well!

xoxo