Recipe Makeover #1: Aunt Pat’s M&M Oatmeal Brownies

Aunt Pat's M&M Oatmeal Brownies

This first recipe makeover is for one of my favorite cousins, Morgan. She is trying a new gluten free diet and the original recipe for these treats comes from her Grandmother, my Aunt Pat.

For someone with celiac, M&M’s are a tricky thing. First, check the package to make sure that particular kind was not processed in a factory with other wheat products, such as the pretzel m&ms. Also, if you have trouble digesting dairy, substitute a dairy free m&m type candy.

Aunt Pat's M&M Oatmeal Brownies

Aunt Pat’s M&M Oatmeal Brownies

M&M Oatmeal Crust

1/2 c. Brown rice flour

1 1/2 c. Gluten free oats

1/2 c. Brown sugar

1/2 c. Walnuts

1 c. mini M&Ms, or regular size chopped

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

1/4 tsp. Xanthan gum

1/2 c. Coconut oil or butter, melted

Brownie in the middle.

Brownie Mix

(You can substitute prepared brownie mix if you like)

4 Eggs

1 c. Evaporated cane sugar

1 c. Brown Sugar

8 oz. Butter or coconut oil, melted

1 1/4 c. cocoa

2 tsp. Vanilla extract

1/2 c. Brown rice flour

1/4 tsp. Xanthan gum

1/2 tsp. Sea salt

1 c. Chocolate chips or chopped nuts (optional)

Aunt Pat's M&M Oatmeal Brownies

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease 9 x 13 inch baking pan with coconut oil or butter.

Combine all ingredients for M&M Oatmeal topping.

Set aside 1 cup of mixture and pat the rest into baking pan.

In large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and sugar, until sugar is dissolved.

Add cooled, melted butter or coconut oil to egg mixture and combine well.

Add all additional ingredients and mix well.

Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly over oat mixture.

Sprinkle with remaining cup of oat mix.

Bake at 350 F for 30 – 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

**Baking times may vary due to altitude.

Aunt Pat's M&M Oatmeal Brownies

Chocolate Caramels

Chocolate Caramel

Christmas is going to be here before you know it. This year, instead of trying to scrape together extra money to buy everyone presents, I’m making homemade candies to give as gifts. This is the first in my caramel candy research.

These caramels are not only gluten free, but dairy and corn free as well. Coconut milk from the box is a great substitute for heavy cream.  Our house is almost 100% corn syrup free. We only use non-gmo organic corn when we do have it. So, for my caramels I used brown rice syrup as a substitute. As it cooks it smells like brown rice cereal, and the flavor is great. These caramels have just a little bit of chocolate added to make them taste like a tootsie roll.

I was also able to get organic 74% dark chocolate from a local factory, literally down the road from my house. 🙂 Dagoba chocolate is gluten free, but does contain trace amounts of soy. They make some of the best chocolate I’ve ever had.

Make some of these caramels for your holiday party or to give as gifts, either way they’ll never know it’s gluten, dairy and corn free.

YUM 🙂

Chocolate Caramel

Chocolate Caramels

1 c. Evaporated cane sugar

(FYI – If your looking for evaporated cane sugar, it is in granulated form. It is the sugar left when the the water evaporates from the crushed cane.)

1/2 c. Brown rice syrup (can substitute corn syrup or honey)

1 c. Coconut milk, plain or vanilla (or regular heavy cream)

(use the kind in the carton or box, it has the proper consistency)

2 oz. Bittersweet chocolate, chopped

(I used Dagoba organic 74% Dark Chocolate)

1 + Tb. Coconut oil (or butter)

 

Line a 8 x 8 inch baking dish with parchment or foil. Grease with coconut oil. Set aside

In a large, heavy bottom saucepan combine sugar and brown rice syrup thoroughly.

Bring sugar to a low boil over medium heat without stirring. Sugar will start to turn a light caramel color and bubble slightly after about 5 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in coconut milk. Be careful, it may bubble up.

Return to medium heat and let simmer.

Just after adding coconut milk and returning to simmer.

Stir occasionally and bring up to 240 – 244 F on a candy thermometer.

About 15 – 25 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate and coconut oil.

Pour in to prepared pan.

Let cool for at least 2 hours. If your in a hurry, pop in the fridge.

Cut into 1 inch squares and wrap in 3 inch square parchment papers.

Cut caramels into squares and roll up in parchment.

I got a little impatient and wanted to firm up my caramels to wrap them. The white you see in the creases is just a little excess coconut oil.

Caramels rolled into balls, before being wrapped in parchment.

Chocolate Caramel

Spiced Apple Butternut Squash Soup

Spiced Apple Butternut Squash Soup

This recipe is dedicated to 4 people without whom I wouldn’t have been able to make this particular soup. 🙂 Thank you so much, to my Uncle David for growing such magnificent butternut squash, my Grandma and Grandpa H. for the delicious apples from their home orchard, and to my Aunt Pat and Uncle Mike for driving them all the way across the country to me!

Also, a special thanks to my Aunts for braving the mountain to come enjoy this soup with me.

Spiced Apple Butternut Squash Soup

1 medium Butternut squash

4 medium apples

1/4 c. Lime or lemon juice

1 Tb. Ginger, diced

1 c. Red onion, diced

1/2 c. Leeks or green onion, diced

1/4 c. Garlic, diced

3+ Tb. Olive oil

1+ tsp. Sea salt

1-2 tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 tsp. Allspice

1/4 tsp. Nutmeg

1/4 tsp. Coriander

1/8 – 1/4 tsp. Cayenne (optional)

1 c. White wine

3 c. Water or Vegetable Stock

1/8 tsp. Maple Extract (optional)

1/2 c. Parsley, chopped

Sea salt & Pepper to taste

Roast Butternut Squash

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Slice squash in half, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place in baking pan and roast about 1 hour, depending on size.

Squash should be spoon tender. When done, take out and let cool.

While squash is cooking, prep apples by peeling and then chopping into a bowl with lime juice and ginger.

Apples soaking in ginger and lime. Diced garlic, onion and leek.

Heat olive oil in soup pot to high.

Add garlic, onion and leeks. Saute until slightly translucent.

Add spices, continue cooking and add wine.

Stir well and add apple mixture.

Reduce heat to medium-low.

Apples cooking down with onions and spices.

Let apples cook down for about 5 minutes.

Start adding spoonfuls of squash to soup.

Stir in water or stock and bring heat back up to high until starting to boil. Bring heat back down to low simmer.

Let simmer for 20 – 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and blend with immersion blender to desired thickness.

(If you don’t have an immersion, use a regular blender. Be careful..it’s hot!)

Return to heat. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Stir in 1/2 c. parsley.

Serve warm or chilled with a little parsley on top.

Spiced Apple Butternut Squash Soup

Purple Potato Leek Soup

Purple Potato Leek Soup and Grilled "Cheese" Sandwich

When I was a kid, my family used to tell me I was going to turn into a potato, because I ate so many. Baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, french fries, doesn’t matter. If it’s a potato, chances are I will love it.

As I’ve grown up over the years, my tastes have become more sophisticated, but my love of potatoes has never waned. This Potato Leek soup is a warm hearty fall soup and a great way to get your potato fix.

I paired this soup with a super simple grilled “cheese” sandwich made with Udi’s White Rice bread and Galaxy Mozzarella Rice Cheese.

Purple Potato Leek Soup

Purple Potato Leek Soup

6 Tb. Butter

1/4 c. Garlic

1 1/2 c. Leeks, diced

1 c. Celery, diced

1 tsp. Sea salt

1 Tb. Tarragon

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. Cayenne

1/2 tsp. Black pepper

1 c. White Wine

6 – 8 c. Potatoes, peeled and quartered

4 – 6 c. Chicken or Vegetable Stock

1 c. Carrots, sliced

1/4 c. Fresh Basil, chopped

Sea salt and Pepper to taste

 

Potatoes, Leeks, Garlic, Celery and Carrots

Heat soup pot on high heat.  Add 3 Tb. butter or oil to pot.

Add garlic, leeks and celery and saute until slightly translucent.

Add tarragon, cayenne, salt and pepper. Mix well and add white wine.

Stir while wine soaks into vegetables and reduces.

Add potatoes, stir and saute for a few minutes.

Add stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a medium – low simmer.

Let cook until potatoes are falling apart. Remove from heat.

Puree with immersion blender to desired thickness.

Return to heat and add the carrots and remaining butter.

Bring back up to a boil and then let simmer until carrots are cooked.

Top bowls of soup with a pinch of fresh basil.

Purple Potato Leek Soup

Gluten & Dairy Free Chicken Stroganoff

Gluten & Dairy Free Chicken Stroganoff

Many people who suffer from Celiac disease are also unable to digest dairy products. Luckily for us, there are more and more great tasting dairy free alternatives hitting the market everyday. My boyfriend recently brought home a new gluten free, dairy free sour cream product. I can’t tell you how excited I was(still am).  It’s made from Lima beans, rice, oats, coconut oil and a few other ingredients. They definitely nailed the robust, sour taste of sour cream.

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Sour Cream

Almost every year, when the weather starts to get cooler and the days get shorter, I find myself craving stroganoff. I used to do the usual beef stroganoff, but as I am cutting down on my beef consumption, I opted for chicken instead.

My gluten and heavy cream sauce loving boyfriend had no problem finishing his dish of stroganoff, so you might even serve this to your friends. Don’t tell them it’s gluten and dairy free. They’ll never know!

Gluten & Dairy Free Chicken Stroganoff

2 Chicken breast, boneless & skinless, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 c. Brown rice flour

1/4 tsp. Cayenne

1/2 tsp. Sea salt

1/4 c. Olive oil

1/2 c. Red onion, diced

1/4 c. Garlic, diced

6 – 8 oz. Crimini or other mushrooms, medium slice

1 tsp. Sea salt

1 tsp. Thyme, dried

1/4 tsp. Red pepper flakes

1/4 – 1/2 c. Red or white wine

1/2 c. Chicken broth

16 oz. Dairy Free Sour cream

1/4 c. Parsley, chopped

4 – 8 oz. Linguini Style rice noodles, uncooked

Sea Salt & Pepper to taste

 

Follow directions on package to prepare noodles. Let rest.

Linguini Style Rice Noodles

Combine flour with cayenne and sea salt. Add chicken and toss to coat.

Heat 2 tb. olive oil on high heat in a large skillet. Add chicken pieces to hot pan and brown on all sides. When chicken is done, remove from pan leaving excess oil and set aside.

Add 2 tb. olive oil, onion and garlic to pan. Saute until slightly translucent.

Add mushrooms, salt, thyme and red pepper. Saute.

As the mushrooms cook down, add wine and chicken broth. Let cook and reduce for a few minutes. Reduce heat to medium – medium/high.

Cook down mushrooms with onion, garlic, seasoning, wine and chicken stock.

Whisk in sour cream and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Chicken Stroganoff Sauce

Serve sauce over rice noodles, top with chicken pieces and sprinkle with parsley.

Gluten & Dairy Free Chicken Stroganoff

Butternut Chocolate Chip Cake Bars

Butternut Chocolate Chip Cake Bars

I’ve recently found myself with a plethora of butternut squash from my Uncle’s garden. Most often, I cook my squash very simply by roasting them in the oven with a little salt and pepper and olive oil or butter. I almost always have a little bit left over, so I decided to concoct this recipe. It’s very similar to using pumpkin in your baked goods, but with a slight difference in taste.

These bars won’t last long before they are gobbled up. So, if your feeding a larger crowd, this recipe easily doubles to fit a 9 in. x 13 in. pan.

Butternut Chocolate Chip Cake Bars

Butternut Chocolate Chip Cake Bars

2 Tb. Coconut oil + extra for greasing pan

1/2 c. Butternut squash, cooked & mashed

1/4 c. Evaporated cane sugar

1/4 c. Brown sugar

1/2 tsp. Vanilla or Anise Extract

1 Egg

1 1/4 c. Brown rice flour

1/2 tsp. Baking soda

1/2 tsp. Xanthan gum

1/4 tsp. Sea salt

1/2 c. Chocolate chips

1/4 c. Walnuts, toasted

 

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Lightly coat 8 inch x 8 inch baking pan with coconut oil.

In medium mixing bowl, cream coconut oil, squash, sugars, vanilla, and egg.

Sift in flour, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt. Combine well.

Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Pour batter into pan and bake 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown and passes the toothpick test.

 

Butternut Chocolate Chip Cake Bars

Easiest Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie

Easiest Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie

This is the easiest, most delicious, tradition gluten free brownie I’ve ever had.

Just mix, bake and serve. YUM YUM YUM 🙂

Like I said, the boyfriend got pretty much any dessert he wanted this past week.

Lot’s of brownies! 🙂

Easiest Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie

4 Eggs

1 c. Evaporated cane sugar

1 c. Brown Sugar

8 oz. Butter or coconut oil, melted

1 1/4 c. cocoa

2 tsp. Vanilla or Peppermint Extract

1/2 c. Brown rice flour

1/4 tsp. Xanthan gum

1/2 tsp. Sea salt

1 c. Chocolate chips or chopped nuts (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Grease 8in. x 8in. baking pan with coconut oil or butter.

In large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and sugar, until sugar is dissolved.

Add cooled, melted butter or coconut oil to egg mixture and combine well.

Add all additional ingredients, mix well and pour into prepared pan.

Bake 45 – 60 minutes. Test with toothpick.

Let cool, cut and serve. Enjoy!

 

Easiest Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie