Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Finally used our bamboo steamer!

Jennie and I wanted filled, steamed buns for Christmas.  We made braised carrot purée yesterday to fill them with today.   I bought a bamboo steamer a couple months ago but never opened it until today!  Super successful!  And tasty.

Here's the recipe we used:

2-1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 cup Plain Soymilk, heated to 110
1-1/2 cups GF baking mix
1 tablespoon margarine 
2 tablespoons sugar

Mix the yeast and 1/2 cup baking mix in a medium bowl.  Add the hot Soymilk.  Whisk until dissolved and slightly foamy.

Melt the margarine and mix in the sugar.  Add to the yeast mixture with 3/4 cup baking mix.

Stir until a soft dough forms.  Cover and let rise for about 15 minutes. 

Jennie shaped about 10 smaller, filled buns by making rounds, pressing a hole in the middle, adding the filling, and adding a lid of dough.

We put a little Bragg Liquid Amino in the steaming water too. 

Check out the little kitty bun she made too!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Dark Dark Bark Bark

Jennie came across this recipe for peanut butter bark:

We, of course, wanted to make it vegan aaaannnndddd with Wowbutter for Jennie too.  So we did!

Line two pans with parchment (and foil too for easier clean up).

In a large microwaveable bowl, place 16 ounces of semi sweet chocolate chips.  We use Trader Joe's brand.  Heat on high for 1 minute.  Stir and continue to heat at 30 second intervals and stir until smooth.

Spread half on one prepared pan and half on the other.  

In one small microwaveable bowl combine 1/4 cup more chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons peanut butter.  We use Skippy Natural.

In another small microwaveable bowl combine 1/4 cup more chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons Wowbutter.

Heat each bowl for 20 seconds and stir with separate spoons.  Heat at 10 second intervals until smooth.

Use one bowl of nut butter for one pan of chocolate and drop by teaspoons over it.  Use a toothpick and swirl them together.  Repeat with the other pan and the other nut butter.

Sprinkle with sea salt and refrigerate until firm.  Break into rough pieces and enjoy!  Keep separate so  you can keep you peanut allergic safe!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Chewy, Cinnamon Cookies. Seriously.

We wanted to call these Holy F*^# Len Cookies because that is what I said when I tasted one.  Seriously.  That delicious.

We have been preparing for a party we are hosting today and needed to make some sort of dessert for ourselves.   I was able to make this dough while Len was in the shower, stick it in the fridge while we went to Target, and bake it off after lunch.  Perfect!

3 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix the above in a small bowl and set aside.

For the cookie dough

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Earth Balance stick margarine, softened
1 egg replacer egg (I used 1 teaspoon potato starch and 1-1/2 teaspoons of water today)
1-1/4 cup GF baking mix
Scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt

In your mixer, mix sugar and margarine until grainy.  Add the egg replacer and beat until combined.

Add the baking mix, baking soda, and salt.  Mix until just combined.  Transfer to airtight container with lid and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 300.  Roll dough into 1/2" balls and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.   Place on your cookie sheet about an inch apart.  Bake for 18 minutes.

Refrigerate the dough between rolling and pan filling. 

Remove from pan immediately to cool.  Chewy. Soft. Crispy.  Everything you need in a cookie!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Waffle Evolution

OMFG. It's Waffles is a good recipe.  It works.  It doesn't aggravate me.  Even so, it isn't perfect like the recipe even says.  It was pretty good.   But somehow, when I crave waffles, I still don't feel like making them.  It could be they made me very mad for many years, that I gave up on them, that I didn't find them worth the effort.

I don't want to feel that way anymore because I DO crave them sometimes and I DO want to have them.

I was thinking how I could make this recipe even better.  How could I give the waffle a little more body so they aren't so light and crispy.  Crispy is good but I felt like waffles were a migraine hazard!

In this recipe, I have eliminated the acid, Coke, so the batter doesn't rise as much before cooking.  This, I suspect, has been causing the too light, airy texture and tendency to separate in the middle.

I went further and heated the Soymilk too.  

I have also used half of my usual baking mix and half of Trader Joe's which contains brown rice flour.  This gives a sweet flavor and more body, thicker.  

I have also increased the amount of baking mix in this recipe.

Here is a waffle that is more chewy, has more body, and is generally better!  I WILL make these anytime I crave waffles since they do not trigger pain in the making... or in the eating!  Win!  Win!  

When you wish you doubled the recipe, you know it's good!

1 cup GF baking mix
1 cup Trader Joe's Gluten Free Baking Mix
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons shortening, softened
2 tablespoons margarine, softened
1 cup hot Very Vanilla Soymilk
1 tablespoon softened shortening for waffle iron

In small bowl, combine baking mixes, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In your mixer with the whisk attachment, blend the margarine, shortening, and sugar.  Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula.  Add the hot Soymilk.  Whisk until combined.  It will be a little lumpy and that is OK.

Slowly add the baking mixes combo by tablespoons full while mixer is on low speed, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl at least once.  When all the baking mix is added and is moist, stir with spatula to make sure all the baking mix is moist by scraping the sides and the bottom of bowl.  This batter should be thick like cake batter.  You can always stir in more baking mix if it's too thin.

Brush softened shortening onto the waffle iron, getting some in all the little nooks.  Preheat iron to medium setting.  When iron is hot, ladle in 1/3 to 1/2 cup batter into the center.  Cook until no longer steaming, or until the iron beeps like mine does!

Friday, November 29, 2013


I got thru Halloween without peanut butter cups but I can't take the holiday season without peanut butter bars too!  I've been really off the daily sweets and chocolate so I feel like this holiday weekend I can indulge a little.

I attempted to make my own powdered sugar which wasn't so successful but I used it anyway.

This recipe uses candy molds.  I have a nice set of discs that work well.

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2-1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (I use Skippy Natural)
2-1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Combine chocolate chips and peanut butter in microwaveable safe bowl.  Heat on high for 40 seconds.  Stir to coat all chocolate with peanut butter.  Return and heat at 20 second intervals until you can stir.  It's ok if the chips aren't melted. They shouldn't be.  Stir until melted instead.

Add powdered sugar and stir to combine.  Fill candy molds and pop in the freezer for about 20 minutes.  Pop out onto foil and store in airtight container in fridge.  Repeat until all candy mixture is used.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Back to Bananas Bread

Although bananas didn't always agree with me even before my limited diet, I've been wanting to introduce them lately.  They are full of good things I am sure my diet is lacking in.  They are easy to take along.  They go so well in lots of baked goods.  Here goes nothing!

I decided to try them first in banana bread.  I did give a taste while smashing them.  They did not give me a tingly tongue...  It remains to be seen though if hives and digestive woes are to follow.  Either way, I at least had something different today!

Grease a loaf pan or, if you're lucky, a mini loaf pan.  Preheat oven to 325.

1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 smashed bananas
2 cups GF baking mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
Dash of salt
Cinnamon for dusting

Cream margarine and sugar.  Add bananas and peanut butter.  Mix well. Add baking mix, baking soda, and salt.  Stir until combined.  You can fold in nuts here or chocolate chips.

Spread into loaf pan.  Dust with cinnamon.

Bake for 30 minutes in mini pans or 60 for a big loaf pan or until knife in center comes out clean.

Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Caramel Pop-Uncorn

Many of you will think that I have finally lost my mind making these but until you have the number of allergies, intolerances, and digestive problems that I have, don't judge.

I can't open a bag of really simple stuff and just enjoy it.  I mean, yes, I can eat rice cakes, plain.  I can't eat flavored ones or get cute mini ones to dip in tasty things.  Low calorie snacks are hard for me too since raw veggies and fruits are out.

I discovered that rice cakes and Earth Balance taste a lot like popcorn.  Add some sugar and a broiler and I've got caramel rice cakes!

2 tablespoons Earth Balance or margarine
1 tablespoon sugar or maple syrup
8 rice cakes

Line a baking sheet with foil and lay out the rice cakes on it.

Melt margarine over low heat until melted.  Remove from heat and stir in sugar or maple syrup.

Brush mixture over the tops of the rice cakes dividing it evenly between them.

Broil for approximately 4 minutes WATCHING THEM THE WHOLE TIME rotating the pan if necessary.

Remove from broiler when brown/golden.  Cool and enjoy.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Birthday Pot Pie

Len came home for birthday dinner today!  We made carnitas for the boys (James too) and I made her and I My Kind of Crust filled with veggies and Soychamel.

Here are the crust and Soychamel recipes:

My Kind of Crust

Soychamel Sauce

I used carrots from the garden and some edamame too.  I made the veggies and Soychamel last night so all I had to do was make the crust and pour it in!

I had to share how delicious and beautiful it was!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Gain Back an Hour Coffee Cake

I love love love fall back clock change!  It is my favorite time of year.

Bub worked from noon til 8 last night and didn't get a satisfying dinner.  He just wasn't in the mood for anything.  I promised a nice breakfast to make up for it.

A warm, gooey, yeast coffee cake was what was on my mind at 4:30 this morning.   I haven't attempted one in quite some time.  I think I've perfected the moist surface texture I remember in coffee cakes I used to buy.

This is an 8"round coffee cake with a full batch of topping made for a larger recipe.  I've also added a drizzle of maple syrup to the surface of the dough before adding the crumble topping.  Uh huh.

Yeast Dough

1-3/4 - 2-1/4 cup GF baking mix
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 package yeast
2/3 cup vanilla Soymilk
1/4 cup margarine, Earth Balance

Grease a 9" round cake pan.  Preheat oven to 375.

Combine 3/4 cup baking mix, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl.   Heat the margarine and Soymilk to 110 degrees.  Add this warm liquid to the dry ingredients.  Whisk until you have a smooth slurry.  Add 3/4 cup baking mix and mix with wooden spoon to combine.  Add another 1/2 cup and combine.  At this point, if your dough is a stiff batter that can be touched without completely sticking to your finger, it is done.  It is OK to stick slightly.

Plop the dough into the center of your greased pan.  With floured fingers, gently poke the dough evenly to the edges of the pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and towel and allow to rise onto of your preheated oven.


1/2 cup GF baking mix
1/3 cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup margarine
Dash of salt

Combine the above with a fork in a small bowl until crumbly.

Uncover your risen dough.  Drizzle a little maple syrup over the top and tilt the pan to distribute it a bit.  Don't brush or spread or you'll flatten your dough!

Gently sprinkle the topping over entire top of cake.

Bake for 15 minutes until golden and gooey.

Enjoy your extra hour with some coffee, your furry friends if you've got them, and some warm love from your oven.