Finding a creamy salad that is refreshing yet not heavy can be a rare commodity. I love how beautiful this salad can be, with a rainbow of colors. Between the lime, cilantro, and tangy vinegar, the dressing is something you can truly only get from homemade. I enjoy salads that are different from just greens and Ranch dressing (don’t get me wrong I love Ranch) but they can be boring. For one to love salad, or in my case to not focus on carbs, I really enjoy finding an off the beating path recipe that is filling and a variation of flavors. Combine all of those ideals in one, this recipe from “The Garden Grazer” is simple (relative to the world of recipes) using a combination of vegetables with a special cilantro dressing, taking salad to a whole new level. I love it because it is naturally gluten free. Also, I made a double batch because if I am going to dirty my food processor, then I am going to make it worthwhile.
- Large head of romaine, chopped
- 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 large orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced
- 2 cups corn (I used drained canned corn)
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed, roughly chopped
- ½ avocado
- 2 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp. white wine vinegar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- For the salad, combine romaine, black beans, orange bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, corn, and green onions in a large bowl.
- To make the dressing, puree all ingredients in food processor until smooth
- Toss the salad with the dressing, serve.
Well Hello Stranger! It’s been awhile, I do apologize, and I guess that is what happens when life happens. And let me tell you, life is happening. Eleven months into living gluten free, this is the first summer I feel like my daughter, and for that matter, myself are free. Free to just simply live, go to the pool, play outside, go on short trips, ride horses, whatever it is, it is amazing because she is truly happy, healthy, and I could not be more grateful.
In search of yet another hand friendly dessert, for those outdoor potlucks, I found this recipe from Averie Cooks (as I have mentioned before there are some great recipes here). Averie calls them Seven Layer bars, which are also known as Hello Dolly Bars. Call them whatever you want because they are just layers of goodness. You could name them a “melted candy bar concoction of divine tastiness”…but that is kind of a long name. I made a few adaptations, as always, and you could easily make a few adaptations of your own, throwing in other gluten free chocolate candy or caramel. These are quick to make and easy keepers.
- 2 packages gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 2 cups shredded coconut
- 1 ½ cans (15 ounce cans) sweetened condensed milk (I used gluten free Eagle)
- 30 Rollo’s, chopped in half
- 20 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, chopped
- ½ cup chocolate chips (I used gluten free Nestle)
- ½ cup peanut butter chips (I used gluten free Nestle)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Spray bottom of 13x9” pan with olive oil and THEN line with tin foil (for easy cleaning)
- In large bowl mash sandwich cookies and butter together, using a potato masher, food processor, or other device, until they are cookie crumbs.
- Evenly distribute in bottom of tin foil pan, pressing with fingers.
- Spread Rollo and Reese’s chopped pieces, and chocolate and peanut butter chips evenly over cookie crust.
- Sprinkle coconut evenly over candy layer.
- Lastly pour condensed milk evenly over coconut.
- Place pan in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, until top is lightly brown. During the last 5 minutes cover with a piece of tin foil to help keep the coconut from burning. You may want to peak in towards the end, fairly routinely to make sure coconut does not get to brown.
- Let cool completely, refrigerator, pull from pan by tin foil, remove tin foil, slice and return to pan for serving.
I have officially decided that the only way you could ever make Pecan Pie taste any better is by adding caramel to it. I love eating pies, occasionally I like baking pies, but what I really love is when you can short cut the entire pie process and go straight towards just eating the good insides! And thus we have found Pecan Pie Bars, not just any bars, but Caramel bars, and better yet Gluten Free Pecan Pie Caramel Bars. I hit the jackpot when I found the Averie Cooks blogs, there are some amazing dessert recipes, including this one! A few modifications and it is gluten free. It is an interesting twist on a pecan pie filling, adding in REAL maple syrup, which seems to make it taste richer……….as if anyone ever thought that was even possible. I will be adding these to my go to arsenal for a quick recipe!
- 2 cups gluten free flour (I used Namaste this time)
- 2/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1 cup butter, very soft (I melted mine)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup real maple syrup (do not use pancake syrup because it is probably not gluten free)
- 3 tablespoons vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 cup pecans (I used halves)
- 1 jar Hershey’s Caramel Topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a 11”x9” pan with aluminum foil. This is crucial and you will cry later if you don’t do it.
- For the crust, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and cut in butter using pastry cutter or a fork. The crust will be crumbly.
- Pour crust mixture into prepared pan and pack it with your fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup. Bake for approximately 17 minutes until crust is just set.
- While crust is cooking, using the same bowl (dirty is fine) as the curst, mix eggs, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt with a whisk until combined.
- Stir in pecans into the filling mixture.
- Remove crust from oven and gently pour filling over crust. Evenly distribute pecans so they are submerged in filling mix as much as possible to avoid burning.
- Bake for 16 to 19 minutes, or until center is set.
- Cool to room temperature and drizzle with caramel.
- Slice and serve.
A dessert with cream cheese is the equivalent of a sunset with the sun. Taking that a step further with a toffee candy topping and a sugar cookie crust, and basically you have a crowd pleaser. This recipe deserves full credit as credit is clearly due; made by Freda Gable on “Just A Pinch” I have been making these babies for years. Adapting them to be gluten free was not terribly difficult as the sugar cookie crust was really the only tricky part. They are relatively simple and a great option for an outdoor event. They only word of caution is if you have them sit for more than a day in the fridge the toffee candy will begin to dissolve, this doesn’t hurt the taste only the texture.
- 1 box of Betty Crocker (15 ounces)Gluten Free Sugar Cookie Mix
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 large box (5.1 ounce) JELLO vanilla instant pudding mix
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (packed)
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (gluten free)
- 2 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 cream cheese packages (8 ounces each), room temperature (I always use Philadelphia)
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 package Hershey’s Heath Toffee Bits
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spray 9”x13” baking pan with olive oil.
- In medium bowl, combine cookie mix, pudding mix, brown sugar, melted butter, and canola oil. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 egg, blend with a spoon. When dough begins to come together, kneed with your hands to form into a ball.
- Press dough into your baking dish with your fingers and slightly up the sides.
- In another large bowl, using a mixer, beat room temperature cream cheese, granulated sugar, sour cream, remaining egg and egg yolks, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla until creamy.
- Spread this cream cheese mixture over top of the cookie dough in the pan.
- Bake 25-30 minutes, until center is set.
- Immediately after removing from the oven, sprinkle Heath bits evenly over the pan, while it is still hot.
- Let cool to room temperature, place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Every now and then I like a good salad, but when I think about what I really LOVE in a salad, it is the crispness of veggies covered in a creamy dressing. When I ran across this recipe from “Spend With Pennies” I was instantly drooling and had to try it. It is essentially gluten free and can be made with a low calorie version if you so desire (which I did not). It keeps well for a few days and is very refreshing. Words of caution, make sure you take the time to draw the liquid out of the cucumbers or you will have more of a cucumber soup than a cucumber creamy salad. For instructions on how to salt the liquid out go to “The Kitchn”. You can can make it more fancy by throwing in chopped onion or a tomato as well. The creamy sauce is tangy, not overly sweet, and has almost “ranch dressing” like qualities. If you love salad you will love this!
- 4 long cucumbers
- 1 cup of sour cream (low fat version use plain greek yogurt)
- 6 tablespoons of mayonnaise (I used gluten free Best Foods)
- 3-4 teaspoons of dried dill (or 1 cup fresh dill chopped)
- 6 tablespoons white vineger
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- salt to taste
- Make sure you salt out the cucumbers per instructions in the opening paragraph of this recipe.
- Peel the cucumbers. For a fast version just slice them up thin. For a better looking but slower version cut them in half lengthwise, scrape the seeds out and slice.
- Combine all dressing ingredients and toss with cucumbers. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
Summertime means that my desserts must be easy to carry, keep cold, and be eaten with fingers! We are full on into branding calves, so masterpiece desserts have to be modified into tasty but practical. I have used this recipe prior to gluten free, life which was always a hit, so as always it was time to modify. The recipe is from “Baking With Melissa” and I have modified the cake to a gluten free brownie. This recipe prepares a very large quantity of food so make sure you have a group to share it with! It is also very rich….but basically still amazing! What makes this recipe even more fantastic that it is quick and easy! How could you not love double chocolate brownies, slathered in melted marshmallows, and a homemade chocolate frosting! Divine!
- For the Brownie:
- • 2 Packages of Krusteaz Brownie Mix and required ingredients
- • 1 ½ cup chopped pecans (make sure they are processed in a gluten free facility)
- • 2 bags (21 ounces total) miniature marshmallows Kraft Jet Puffed
- For the Chocolate Frosting
- • 2 packages (32 ounces total) powdered sugar
- • 1 cup of milk
- • ½ cup butter, softened
- • 2/3 cup unsweetened coca
- Prepare two packages of Krusteaz Brownie Mix as directed on the box, fold in chopped pecans. Pour into a 13”x9” deep dish pan that has been sprayed with olive oil.
- Bake as directed on box.
- Remove brownies from oven 5 minutes before they are done cooking. Pour marshmallows evenly over brownies and return to oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove brownies from oven.
- In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients for the frosting, with an electric mixer.
- Drop spoonful’s of frosting on marshmallows and gently spread with a knife.
- Serve or store in refrigerator.
It’s that time of year again, the calm before the storm of nonstop weekend brandings. It has been a few relaxing weeks, well for me anyway because I have been taking photos of baby calves (maybe not for my husband who has been pulling them, sorting them, pairing them up, and everything else associated). I LOVE baby calves, they are so sweet, for at least the first few days anyway, and represent the coming summer and promise of warm, long days. I just can’t seem to pass up the chance to snap a photo of a those little buggers!
Whenever there is a holiday, such as Easter, I use that as an excuse to try out some extravagant dessert. In this case I went through my secret stash of recipes I have been hoarding from magazines and found a copycat recipe in my Food Network March 2012 magazine for LongHorn Steakhouse’s Chocolate Stampede dessert. According to the recipe I clipped, LongHorn sells more than a million of these bad boys a year, which is crazy. I am not going to lie, this recipe is a little intimidating and because I have OCD I studied the recipe until I almost had it memorized. I felt like I was prepared to take a midterm exam on it. When recipes are more complicated I routinely do this, because some such as this are fast paced at times, moving from step to step, and I want to make sure I don’t miss a beat. If I had any advice for anyone who is serious about baking…buy a double boiler!! I still haven’t and I don’t know why. I suppose it is because I am an extreme cheapskate and I only need it every now and then. No joke I held one of my smaller pots over my bigger pots to do this and my forearm was literally sore the next day. Which I wasn’t too mad about because this dessert is insane! It is exactly the same as the Food Network recipe, with a few modifications to make it gluten free!
- For the Cake and Mousse
- Prepare My Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Recipe
- 14 ounces milk chocolate, chopped (I used Guittard Baking Chips, they are gluten free)
- 12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, diced
- ¼ cup strong coffee
- 10 large eggs, separated
- 1 ½ cups plus 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups heavy cream
- For the Shell and Sauce
- 12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped (again I used Guittard)
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 5 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- To Serve
- 1 ½ cups cold heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream (Breyers Vanilla is Gluten Free)
- 1. Make the cake: Prepare as directed on my blog for a 9”x13” cake. Bake; cool slightly in the pan, then invert onto a rack to cool completely.
- 2. Clean out the cake pan and line it with plastic wrap. Cut the cake in half lengthwise, then in thirds crosswise to make 6 rectangles. Using a serrated knife, slice each rectangle in half to make two layers. Arrange half of the pieces snugly in the cake pan. Crumble the remaining pieces and press tightly into 6 small balls; arrange 1 cake ball in the center of each cake rectangle in the pan.
- 3. Make the mousse: Heat the chocolate, butter, coffee and ¼ cup water in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water), stirring until melted. Remove the bowl from the pan; stir until cool. Reserve the simmering water. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
- 4. Whisk the egg yolks, 1 ½ cups sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a separate large heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water and whisk until pale yellow, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the chocolate-coffee mixture and the vanilla and whisk until combined, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the pan and set in the bowl of ice water; whisk until slightly cool but not thick, about 4 minutes.
- 5. Beat the egg whites and salt in a bowl with a mixer until foamy. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and beat until almost stiff; gently fold into the chocolate-yolk mixture to make a dark chocolate mousse. Spread 5 cups over the cake and cake balls. Freeze until firm on top, about 30 minutes.
- 6. Beat the heavy cream and the remaining 4 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form; fold into the remaining mousse. Remove the cake from the freezer; spread with the light chocolate mousse, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or overnight.
- 7. Make the chocolate shell: Stir the chocolate heavy cream and 4 tablespoons corn syrup in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water) until melted. A spoonful at a time spread half of the shell mixture over the frozen mousse. Return to the freezer.
- 8. Make the chocolate sauce: Add the remaining 1 tablespoon corn sytrup and the butter to the remaining chocolate shell mixture. Microwave 30 seconds then stir until glossy.
- 9. To serve the cake, beat the heavy cream with a mixer until foamy. Add the sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Remove the cake from the freezer; invert onto a baking sheet and unmold then invert again onto a platter, chocolate shell side up. When I did this I did not let it sit long enough in the freezer so I pulled it out of the pan by the saran wrap, folded down the wrap, and cut and served. When I was done I picked up the left overs by the saran wrap and placed it back in the pan.
- 10. Cut the cake in half lengthwise using a warm knife, then cut into thirds crosswise to make 6 rectangles; cut each rectangle in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. Top each triangle with whipped ice cream and the prepared chocolate sauce.
The older I get the more I love things that I refused as a child. Take lemon for example, I LOVE the smell and even more the taste. Lemon truffles, lemon curd, lemon meringue pie, lemon cake…..but my oh my the best is a good lemon bar. What makes an even better lemon bar is giving it a more substantial texture and structure. A usual lemon bar is sometimes like eating JELLO. This recipe gives you a strong base, the coconut really defines it, and the glaze is an added treat. Gluten Free!
- For the Crust:
- • 1 ½ cup gluten free flour mix
- • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- • ½ cup chilled butter cut into small pieces
- For the Filling:
- • 1 cup packed brown sugar
- • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- • 2 large eggs
- • ½ cup flaked sweetened coconut
- For the Glaze:
- • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
- • 2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- • Spray a 9-inch square pan with olive oil
- • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- • In medium bowl combine flour, granulated sugar, and cut in butter with a fork or pastry knife.
- • Press crust mixture into bottom of baking pan and bake for 10 minutes
- • While baking, in another medium bowl whisk brown sugar, 3 tablespoons juice, and eggs. Stir in coconut.
- • Pour filling onto hot crust and return to oven for 25 minutes or until set.
- • Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
- • In a small bowl, prepare the glaze, combine powdered sugar, rind, and 4 tablespoons of lemon juice. Spread glaze evenly over cookies.
- • Let glaze setup, then cut, and serve.