Thursday, January 19, 2017

Gluten-Free Crepes

I've started off on a new adventure for 2017.  Gluten-free eating.  I spent most of 2016 on the couch in miserable pain or shuffling back and forth to a million doctors appointments.  No answers and lots of frustrations.  After seeing five different doctors throughout the year, and lots of personal research on my own, I suggested to my doctor could it be a gluten allergy?  And last week it was confirmed.  Along with a lot of other garbage-y repercussions from my 2010 auto accident.  Thanks to my favorite chiropractor and ridding my body of extra inflammation from food allergy, I'm happy to say I am finally feeling better.  It could possibly be a placebo effect from being so happy to finally have some answers, but I'll take it.  Thankfully there are lots and lots of gluten-free products on the market and I've been doing a lot of reading on flour substitutions.  I'm even adding a "gluten-free" label to my recipe index, so looks for lots of upcoming recipes.  These crepes were the second gluten-free I've tried to make.  The first being homemade won ton wrappers for homemade crab rangoons. (Straight to the trash.  More research required.) I'm excited to report that the crepes turned out much better.  I made regular crepes for Mr. Devilish Dish and Little Devil, and the gluten-free for myself.  He sampled both and said mine were actually better.  The addition of vanilla gave them a great flavor and there was no difference texture-wise.  I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour because it was the only baking flour available at my local store, and I was really happy with the results.  I'll be testing a lot of other products and alternative flours in the future so looks for more recipes.  AND if you're not gluten-free at your house, there is no reason why you can't use regular flour either!

The perfect brunch, breakfast or dessert.
You'll never miss the traditional wheat flour.
These turned out perfect
We filled them with Homemade Sous Vide Lemon Curd
and fresh blueberries.  Next time we are trying Nutells and
sliced bananas.  The sky is the limit on your filling ideas!

Gluten-Free Crepes

2 eggs
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour
dash salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
unsalted butter to grease the pan

Beat eggs in a bowl, add milk, sugar and vanilla.  Whisk well to combine.  Gradually add the flour and salt, whisking until smooth.  Add the melted butter and whisk until combined.

Heat a crepe pan over medium heat.  Rub the pan with butter until the bottom and sides of pan are coated.  When the butter begins to sizzle (don't let it begin to brown or smoke) add 1/4 cup of batter to the pan, swirling to coat the bottom evenly.  (This should be a very thin coat.)

Cook for 1-2 minutes until the top of the crepe appears solid.  Carefully flip the crepe over and cook approximately 45 seconds on the other side.  Remove to a plate and top spread with the filling of your choice.  Fold in half, and then fold in half again.  You can keep the crepes warm in a 250 degree oven or you can refrigerate them for later use.  I refrigerated the leftover batter and it made approximately 8 crepes over several days.

Prep Time:  Approximately 10 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 3 minutes

*NOTE  You can do this in a small non-stick skillet or frying pan, but you will achieve the best results using a traditional crepe pan.  My absolute favorite is the Berndes 9.5-inch crepe pan.  I have never had a crepe failure using this pan.  In my opinion it is the best non-stick cookware available on the market.  If you enjoy making crepes (savory or sweet) this is a terrific investment.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Lump of Coal Cookies

Every Christmas season I try to make something from my kitchen for my husband's co-workers.  In the past I've made Cattleman's Salad Dressing and Mexican Restaurant Relish.  This year I was in the mood to bake, but I wasn't sure if I would lean toward cookies or cupcakes or muffins or cakes or bread or what.  I had seen some cute mini cupcake carriers that held 9 cupcakes or muffins.  They were red, making them the ideal color and size for gifts.  But I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to find as many as I needed.  Little Devil and I were wandering around Michael's, adding more materials to our craft stash and more projects to our to-do list when I saw these cute burlap sacks that said, "COAL."  I couldn't resist getting them.  I've seen lots of recipes online for "lumps of coal" using rice krispie treats, crushed oreos and even black food coloring.  There's just something unappetizing about black food coloring so I decided to go with the natural coloring of dark chocolate.  These cookies are a variation of Little Devil's Brownie Cookies that she makes for her boyfriend.  I used the Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa and the Nestle's Dark Chocolate Chips.  They really do look like lumps of coal, but they taste even better.  I packaged the cookies in plastic bags before slipping into the burlap sacks.  Honestly you don't even need the burlap sacks.  Just the bag tied with a cute ribbon and the paper tags would make the perfect treat.  I've included the tags for you.  Just print them out, whip up a batch of these cookies and you'll have an adorable, tasty treat for everyone on your list.  Nice or Naughty!

Aren't they just the cutest?
I love these black burlap sacks, but really
any bag will do!
And this is how you get the dough
so dark...
It's almost black.
Like coal!
Good thing I have so many cookie sheets,
I tripled the batch.
Lined up and ready for the oven.
Here they are all packaged up.
Can you believe how dark they turn out?
A super delicious, extra dark
chocolate cookie.
This is a lump a coal
no one will mind getting!
Here are the printable tags I made for you.

Click on the image to enlarge.
Right click and save to your computer.
Open with the software of your choice
and print onto cardstock.
These images are my exclusive artwork.
Please be courteous when using these printables
and remember they are for personal use only.
This makes me laugh.
I sent it to my brother. 
Even though he's 54 and I'm 44
it's still funny.  And true. 

Lump of Coal Cookies
(makes approximately 2 dozen)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup dark cocoa (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch Kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 (10 ounce) package dark chocolate chips (I used Nestle's)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line an ungreased cookie sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth and creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time, until well mixed.  Add flour mixture slowly, a little at a time until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Use a large cookie scoop (I used the 2-tablespoon size) scoop dough onto prepared cookie sheets.  Bake approximately 12 minutes or until cookies appear set.  Let cool on pan for a few minutes before removing to rack to cool completely. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Crockpot Chicken and Noodles

It's no secret Oklahoma has some moody weather. Will Rogers once said, "If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, wait a minute and it'll change."  That's the truth.  It's the end of November and we've still had some 80 and 90 degree days.  Which is great if you're a golfer like my husband.  Not so great when you want to make cozy, hearty comfort food for dinner.  Yesterday Mr. Devilish Dish had a golf tournament and sadly for him it was cold and drizzly all day.  I texted him and asked if it was cancelled or delayed by rain and he answered, "No, we are playing in it."  My reply was, "Hang in there, supper will warm you up."  This is one of my favorite go-to recipes for the Crockpot.  Not only is it just a few ingredients, it's so good.  And so easy for this hectic time of year.  It's literally 5 ingredients, but it tastes like Cracker Barrel and your grandma cooked all day.
So warm and hearty
This will fill you up.
5 ingredients, one pot. 
Perfect for a chilly day.
The ideal comfort food.

Crockpot Chicken & Noodles

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 (15 ounce) cans chicken broth
2 (10 ounce) cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1 stick unsalted butter
1 package frozen egg noodles (I use Reames)

Place the chicken breasts in the Crockpot.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the chicken broth, cream of chicken soup and butter.  Cook approximately 4 hours, or until chicken is done.  (I do this on low, but slow cookers vary.)  Remove chicken and shred.  Return shredded chicken to crock and add the frozen noodles.  Cook two hours more.  It will thicken up nicely when the noodles are done cooking. 

Prep Time:  Approximately 5 minutes          Cook Time:  Approximately 6 hours

Monday, November 21, 2016

Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup Mix in a Jar

Thanksgiving is upon is and it's that time of year again when we have a fridge chock full of leftovers.  Now some folks really like the Turkey Day meal, and don't mind eating leftovers for days.  And some folks get really creative and make Cranberry Sauce Bread Pudding.  I'm one of those people that lobbies for the Thanksgiving meal to be enchiladas.  I know! "The Horror!" right?  A food blogger that doesn't want a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  Turkey just isn't my favorite.  To me it's dry and needs something on it.  But cranberry sauce isn't the answer.  And leftover turkey is too thick for a sandwich.  And mayo isn't the answer either.  What is the answer is this super simple, one pot soup.  It's the perfect answer to the leftover turkey debacle.  And who doesn't love a big pot of comforting soup simmering away on the stove.  AND, it's a great way to stretch the leftover turkey if you've still got a house full of guests to feed.  AND, if you are not the Thanksgiving host, then the mix in a jar makes an adorable hostess gift.  Trust me, it will be much appreciated.  I've included the tag for you to print out if you'd like to make one as a gift.  It's a great little treat, a great way to use up the leftover turkey, AND a great meal to have over the weekend while you untangle the Christmas lights and get ready for the next holiday!

What a cute hostess gift!
Like Fall in a Jar
Add the tag with the simple instructions...
Just a few ingredients for a delicious
pot of soup.
Click on the image to enlarge.
Right click and save to your computer.
Open with the software of your choice
and print onto cardstock.These images are my exclusive artwork.
Please be courteous when using these printables
and remember they are for personal use only.
All read for the post-Thanksgiving meal.

Leftover Turkey Noodle Soup Mix

For the Mix:

1 cup uncooked fine egg noodles
1 1/2 tablespoons dry chicken bouillon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried whole thyme
1/8 teaspoon celery seeds
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 whole bay leaf

Combine ingredients in a small bowl, store in an airtight container

For the Soup:

1 jar Turkey Noodle Soup Mix
8 cups water
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/4 cup finely minced onion
3 cups cooked, diced turkey

Combine the Turkey Noodle Soup Mix and the water in a large stock pot.  Add the carrot, celery and onion, bring to a boil.  Cover the soup and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Discard the bay leaf.  Stir in the turkey and simmer an additional 5 minutes.  This is a great way to use leftover turkey.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings

Chicken & Dumplings is the quintessential comfort food.  At least in Oklahoma and the Southern states it is.  Every year I cannot wait for fall and cooler weather to get here so I can make a big pot for Sunday supper.  It's so cozy to have a pot on the stove simmering a whole chicken with lots of yummy veggies and spices. I usually start my Chicken & Dumplings the same way I start my Chicken Noodle Soup, a big pot of flavorful broth slow simmering all afternoon.  We've enjoyed Chicken & Dumplings in our family as long as I can remember.  My Grandmother Mary (famous for Sunday Suppers and Strawberry Cake) made this often.  My cousin Lindsey, Mom, Attorney, Writer and Blogger extraordinaire makes Grandmother Mary's version.  You know I can rarely follow a recipe, so my version has evolved from the family original over the years.  Lindsey loves to make this right before Thanksgiving so the family can get together and relax before the hectic holiday season starts.  It's a simple process with just a few steps, but the end result is wonderful.  We eat the leftovers for days.  Enjoy!
The perfect comfort food.
Cooked chicken and tender dumplings
in a flavorful broth.
So cozy...
Grab a spoon and dig in!

Homemade Chicken & Dumplings

1 whole chicken (about 3-5 pounds)
kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
2 large yellow onions, chopped
4-6 large carrots (I leave a couple whole--leaves and all and peel and finely dice the rest)
4-6 large stalks celery (I leave a couple whole--leaves and all and peel and finely dice the rest)
1-2 fresh whole jalapenos, roughly chopped (seed or use less if you want mild C&D)
6 whole cloves garlic, peeled
4 bay leaves
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

Rinse the chicken inside and out under cold water, and remove any innards.  Pat dry with paper towels and season generously with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Place in a large stock pot over medium high heat.  Add the onions, carrots, celery, jalapenos, garlic, bay leaves and thyme sprigs.  Add enough water to cover the hen with about 3 inches over.  Re-season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and cook until the meat begins to fall off of the bones.  This will take approximately 2 hours.  Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool slightly.  Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve into another pot or container.  Reserve 1 cup of the cooked diced vegetables and set aside.  Remove the meat from the chicken, discarding the skin and bones.  Chop into smaller pieces.  Return the strained broth to the pot and add in the chicken pieces.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Cut in the shortening with a fork or pastry blender until the mixture resembles course crumbs.  Mash the reserved 1 cup of cooked vegetables with a fork and add to the flour mixture.  Add the milk to the flour mixture, stirring well.  Dough will be sticky.  Set aside.  Heat the broth and chicken over medium heat until you have a gentle boil.  Add the 1/4 cup heavy cream.  Gently drop the dumplings into the broth.  ( I use my small cookie scoop, but two spoons work great also.)  Cook 30 minutes until the dumplings are cooked through, stirring very gently, occasionally.

Prep Time:  Approximately 20 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 3 hours

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Rest-Relax-Revive Gift

Recently we celebrated my sister-in-law's birthday.  She's a huge country music fan and attends a lot of concerts  I almost always give her chunky turquoise jewelry or boot socks or some other kind of concert-worthy fashion statement.  She just had a new granddaughter, so she's been helping out with the new baby as well as watching her three-year old grandson.  This time I thought I'd make her a little treat so she could relax after the grand babies go home.  I found a beautiful cobalt blue mug and the gift came together around that.  I tried to think of the things I like when I'm enjoying some time to myself.  A comforting drink, a magazine.  Some nice hand lotion (because you have to wash your hands around new babies a million times a day) and of course:  Chocolate!  This is the perfect gift for anyone in need of a pick me up.  Birthdays, Get-well Soon, Administrative Assistant's Day, New Moms....Everyone deserves to enjoy a moment to themselves now and then.  A much appreciated gift for any occasion.
The ideal treat for anyone who needs a little quiet time...
Rest. Relax. Revive.  With chocolate of course!
Just add a little card encouraging some down time!
This works for all ages and any occasion...
Just adapt the beverage and magazine to suit their taste.
Add a lip gloss or nail polish too!
The possibilities are endless...

Monday, October 10, 2016

Apple Butter Cupcakes {with Browned Butter Cinnamon Frosting}

You know we are big college football fans around here.  If it's a home game, we tailgate and if we don't go to the away games there are usually watch parties to attend.  Occasionally we have no plans and Mr. Devilish Dish and I like to use that opportunity to try out new recipe ideas for future game days.  The annual OU/Texas Game (aka The Red River Rivalry) is a big deal.  It's played in the Cotton Bowl at the Texas State Fair.  Almost the perfect mid point between Norman, OK and Austin, TX.  Normally we make the trip down to Dallas but this year we decided to watch from the comfort of our couch.  The game is almost always at 11:00 am, so all week I imagined a "tailgate brunch menu."  When I saw these Apple Butter Muffins from Dan and Scott over at Platter Talk: Food, Wine and Friends, I just knew the would be the ideal fall treat for our football menu.  My husband loves apple butter, and when we lived in Nebraska, we used to pick our own apples at a nearby orchard and I would can my own apple butter as holiday gifts.  Then Mr. Devilish gave my brunch idea the ax because quote, "I don't want to graze on breakfast food all day."  So what do you do when you already have the apple butter to make Apple Butter Muffins?  You add a butter cream frosting and call them Apple Butter Cupcakes.  These are perfectly marvelous, packed full of fall flavor.  The muffins are sprinkled with a streusel topping before baking.  I saved my streusel for garnish.  These are some of the prettiest and tastiest cupcakes I've made in a long time, and I'm really happy with the way they turned out.  Thank you Dan and Scott for the fabulous inspiration!

A Taste of Fall...
These are divine!
Oodles of Browned Butter Cinnamon Frosting
and a streusel topping...
You can't beat Apple Butter as a
flavor for an Autumn Cupcake.

Apple Butter Cupcakes with Browned Butter Cinnamon Frosting

inspired by: Platter Talk: Food, Wine and FriendsFor the Cupcakes:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons cinnamon (I always use a Vietnamese Cinnamon, so much flavor!)
1 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup apple butter

For the Frosting:

1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups (or more) powdered sugar
2 tablespoons apple butter
2 tablespoons cinnamon (or to taste)
1-3 tablespoons milk

For the Streusel Topping:

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup whole oats
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.  In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves and set aside.  With an electric mixer cream together the unsalted butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth.  Add the eggs and vanilla.  Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk a little at a time, beginning and ending with flour.  Stir in the apple butter.  Place the batter in the lined muffin tin.  (I filled these pretty full, actually more full than I do a regular cupcake.  They rose up beautifully, but not too high to frost.)  Bake in a preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooking, in a small pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter.  Once the butter is melted, continue to cook until the butter starts to brown.  The butter will turn a golden brown color and develop a nutty aroma.  Watch carefully so it does not burn.  Stir up any browned bits and pour into a bowl.  Place in the refrigerator and allow the butter to set back up.  After the butter is solid again, with an electric mixture whip it until soft and fluffy.  Add in the powdered sugar a little bit at a time.  It's okay if it appears dry and crumbly, it will become more frosting-like in texture when you add the wet ingredients.  My jar of apple butter was approximately 10 ounces, so there was just a small amount left.  I added it to the frosting for extra flavor, but still needed some milk to further moisten the mixture.  Add in the cinnamon.  And beat until fluffy.  At this point it's really a matter of taste and the consistency of frosting you desire.  I don't have any set measurements, when I make frosting, I just keep adding powdered sugar or milk until I get the consistency I need to put in a piping bag.  That part is up to you!

Combine the ingredients for the streusel topping in a small bowl.  Use a pastry cutter (or even better: your fingers) to combine the mixture until it is crumbly and grainy.  Since I did not use the streusel on the actual batter before baking, and only for garnish I had quite a bit left.  You can either cut back on the amount you make, sprinkle some on top of the batter before baking or save the remaining streusel topping for another use.  (Mine is in the refrigerator, I'm planning on making a coffee cake or something this week.)

When the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost them with the Browned Butter Cinnamon Frosting and garnish with the streusel topping.  Enjoy a taste of fall!

Makes 12 standard-sized cupcakes

Prep Time:  Approximately 1 hour total                Cook Time:  Approximately 30 minutes
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