Sunday, September 29, 2013

New stuff

Love my new pot holders and oven mits from Kohls!  They have a little grippy texture on the oven mits and the pot holders are all silicone.

No more sliding around the counter when frosting or spreading or cutting.  And the oven mits make for more secure oven removal of hot items.  My hands don't have a strong grip anymore so these are really helpful.

And, of course, I love the lime color!

PB&C Snack (or Celebration) Cake

I haven't talked to Bub yet to see how the surprise party went last night.  I'm hoping the cake I sent over was a hit though.

I'm making a second birthday cake this morning.  I'm thinking it is a little easier to celebrate today than on a Monday night.

17 years has just passed in a blink, or a haze, depending on which memories hit me first!

Peanut butter and chocolate are loved by many, us included!  Cocoa powder is a great "glue" when baking gluten free, egg free, corn free, and xantham free cakes.  Win win!

Happy Birthday my Bubby!

I set everything up to get to room temperature while I showered.  Everyone else is sleeping so I didn't want to run the mixer yet!

1/4 cup margarine, Earth Balance, room temperature 
1/4 cup peanut butter, I use Skippy Natural
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup GF baking mix
1-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (normally I don't use so much salt but c'mon, it's peanut butter here)
1/3 cup Very Vanilla Soymilk, room temperature
3/4 cup chocolate chips, Trader Joes semi sweet

Preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour an 8" or 9" square pan.

Cream margarine, peanut butter, and sugar in your mixer.  Add the cocoa powder and mix well.

Combine the baking mix, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.  Alternately add the baking mix mixture and Soymilk to the creamed mixture.  Mix until smooth.

Spread into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, when cake starts to pull away from sides of pan.

Evenly distribute the chocolate chips over the top of the hot cake.  Spread over the top as they soften. If they don't want to spread, pop cake in oven for about a minute.  They'll be ready then!

Cool and enjoy for no reason, or for a special one!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Shine Like a Superstar

I made a cake for Bub's birthday gathering today.  He is celebrating with some friends tonight and it's no celebration without cake!

A cake with no frosting is also no way to celebrate!  I wanted to make a cake that I know is a winner since I don't have time to make two.  I made:

 Cherry Colored Glasses Muffins

But in cake form.  I doubled the recipe and baked it for about an hour in a greased Bundt pan.

I know it's super moist and very flavorful but was missing frosting!  I found this at Allrecipes:

 Satiny Chocolate Glaze

It lives up to its name.  Silky, smooth, and a worthy shine to the top of Bub's cake!

3/4 cup chocolate chips,  Trader Joes are excellent
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3 tablespoons margarine, Earth Balance

This recipe also calls for vanilla but we can't use it.

Combine all ingredients in a microwaveable safe bowl.  Make sure you give it a good toss to coat the chocolate with the corn syrup so it doesn't seize up on you later.  Cook on high for 30 seconds.  Stir.  Cook for 10 more seconds.  Stir until smooth.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Handy new gadget!

I went to Whole Foods looking for a bamboo steamer.  They didn't have them BUT I did find a great Zyliss gadget that is perfect for Bragg Liquid Amino dispensing!

The container it comes in always leaks and is messy.  This is a Zyliss Shake n Pour Dressing Mixer.  I've got nothing to mix but I do have something to pour...  NEATLY!  Controlled.  Drip free.  Thumbs up.

It really is perfect.  Check it out!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Steamy Wow Buns

Wow.  Just wow.

I had to make carrot soup today since I'm not able to eat real food yet.  Len offered to make some type of bread too.  She sat down and found all these different steamed bread recipes.  Of course, none of them were quite right.  We picked through and chose the best of several and adapted them as we know what will work.  The result is really delicious.

I may invest in a bamboo steamer here but our makeshift one worked fine.  

2-1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 cup Plain Soymilk, heated to 110
1-1/2 cups GF baking mix
1 tablespoon shortening
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 shortening 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. 

Shape into 8 rolls and flatten slightly.  Place in your steamer for 10 minutes.  See descriptions by photos.

 Make a ring out of foil

Make a steamer pan out of foil, poke holes in it

Lay parchment over the steamer pan, add water 

Place buns on top

Put over high heat, covered

Steam for 10 minutes

Ready to eat

You can see all the little pockets the steam made


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Do You Take Your Chocolate Hot or Cold?

I'm almost embarrassed to say that I'm having a new problem or a flare up from an existing one.  Whatever it is, I am unable to eat anything solid and I am only able to down small amounts of liquid.  

This started Thursday night, saw my doctor yesterday, and still feel awful today.   Perhaps a Crohn's or sarcoid flare.  Maybe muscle spasms in my esophagus.  I feel like a 90 year old.

It's also not nice when your doctor pulls her hair at the sight of you as her last patient on a Friday.  She only likes to see me when I have an ear ache, strep throat, or something NORMAL.

Since Soymilk has a fair amount of things good for you in it, I decided to make home made hot chocolate which  turns out to make kick ass chocolate milk too!

1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup water
4 cups Very Vanilla Soymilk

In a medium sauce pan, combine the cocoa powder, sugar, and water.  Heat over medium low heat for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until smooth.

Add the Soymilk.  Continue heating and stirring until you reach desired level of hot.  Or, you can stop heating and just mix well.  

It is so smooth right off the bat that it makes great chocolate milk.  I was hoping to freeze some but I don't think it will last that long!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cherry Slushy

Hardly a recipe but still a treat!

1 cup frozen cherries
6 ice cubes
2 tablespoons sugar
A little cold water

Put the above in your food processor or blender.  Process until slushy.  Add water if you want to drink it with a straw or eat with a spoon as is.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Easy Smoky Lentils

I decided to make this Monday like Tuesday dinner meatless.  After a long weekend, something easy and light is all I can handle.

One 15 oz can lentils
10 oz spinach
2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons olive oil
Smoky paprika
Cayenne pepper
Black pepper

Cook the spinach in a skillet with the margarine and oil.  Add the lentils.  Stir until everything is heated through.  Remove from heat.  Add the spices and stir to combine.  I really think spice amounts can't be dictated.  You know what you like right?  Use as much as you enjoy.  The men who live here like garlic so I may be a little heavy handed on that.

Serve over rice, potatoes, or pasta.  A tomato salad on the side works great too!  We have lots of garden tomatoes.

Easy!  But yummy!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Garden Bounty Asian Carrots

This is the best bunch of carrots ever from Derek's garden.  They are nice size and super sweet.  Picked and cooked same day.  Doesn't get much better than that!

2 lbs peeled and sliced carrots
Enough water to just cover them
2 tablespoons margarine
1/4 cup raw sugar
2 tablespoons Bragg's Liquid Aminos
Dash of ginger
Black pepper

In a large skillet with a lid, put the prepared carrots and water.  Bring to a boil on high heat.  Reduce heat to low and cover with lid.  Cook until desired tenderness.  My Crohn's/sarcoidosis require me to cook until pretty darn tender but still a lovely color and not mushy.  Start testing after 10 minutes.  Fresh from garden carrots cook A LOT faster than produce at the store.

Drain off the water.  You can reserve this liquid for soup making too.  The carrots right from the garden are so sweet that I always reserve the cooking liquid.  Can't buy that at the store!

Turn heat to high and add the remaining ingredients.  Cook and stir gently with a spatula until sugar caramelizes.  If I had any edamame, I'd add them in too.