Monday, December 29, 2014

Festive Cranberry Rum Punch!

Hope everyone had a great holiday! I cooked my famous Tofu Parmesan with homemade sauce for the family without any major disasters(I only burned myself once)and got everyone blitzed on a version of this Cranberry Rum Punch. This would make an awesome cocktail for your New Year's Eve party and can easily be made ahead.
Happy New Year!

Festive Cranberry Rum Punch:

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • 1/4 cup amaretto
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • fresh cranberries for garnish(optional)
  1. Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and serve over ice with cranberry garnish.
Serves 2

Monday, December 22, 2014

Gluten Free Xmas Rum Cookies!

Every Christmas since I've been gluten free, I have tried to make many of my traditional family cookie recipes with gluten free flours without much luck. I've had cookies come out so delicate and fragile you couldn't breath on them without them turning to dust. I've had what used to be a round cute little ball cookie come out of the oven flatter than a sad pancake.
This year I've experienced a legit Christmas miracle having discovered Pamela's Artisan Flour Blend which you can use cup for cup. So far all of the cookies I've tried with this blend have come out perfect! These delicious rum cookies are my favorite to bake. They have a light, delicate texture and awesome butter cream frosting that can be decorated with your choice of tacky Xmas candy, sparkles or sprinkles. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Gluten Free Xmas Rum Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup margarine at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 TBSP rum or 2 tsp rum extract
  • 1/4 cup finely ground almonds
  • 2 cups Pamela's Artisan Flour Blend, sifted, plus more for rolling surface
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. In a large bowl cream shortening, margarine and sugar well using electric mixer on medium.
  2. Add almond extract and rum (or rum extract).
  3. Gradually blend in almonds, flour and salt.
  4. Chill the dough for at least 3 hours. Roll out to about 1/4" thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut cookies using floured cookie cutters. I use a spatula to remove the shapes and place them on the baking sheets since the dough is rolled quite thin.
  5. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely before frosting with butter cream frosting (recipe below). Decorate as desired.
Butter Cream Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP milk
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Blend in vanilla and add milk gradually until frosting is the right consistency for spreading. 
  2. Divide frosting into four smaller bowls and blend in a few drops of food coloring to each bowl if desired.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Monday, December 15, 2014

New Hippie Shroom Bisque!

I'll admit, I have more than my share of kitchen mishaps and cooking disasters. I would say it's an integral part of my creative process to burn/over cook/set ablaze or generally ruin a dish every now and then (a lot). That being said,I was glad I was alone in my kitchen when this little dish was being created. There was some pretty intense cursing and a ceiling covered in hot soup by the end of it(that liquid fill line on the food processor is there for a reason apparently!). But thankfully, this bisque came out super tasty and rich, even with the addition of low fat Greek yogurt in place of the usual heavy cream.
This gluten free, low fat and vegetarian soup would be a great appy for a holiday feast. Enjoy!

New Hippie Shroom Bisque:

  • 1 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms, washed well and sliced(I used half white mushrooms, half mixed wild mushrooms)
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and minced
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 5 cups gluten free vegetable broth
  • 2 cups low fat Greek yogurt(at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup sherry
  • 1 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
  1. In a large saucepan, saute shallots in olive oil and butter under medium heat for 5 minutes, until translucent.
  2. Add mushrooms and continue to saute until mushrooms become tender, about 7 minutes. At this point take about a cup of mushrooms out and set them aside to add texture to the bisque.
  3. Stir in broth, sherry, thyme, salt and pepper and lower heat a bit. Simmer the soup for about 10-15 minutes for flavors to meld. Turn off heat and let sit for about 10 minutes to cool a little.
  4. In a food processor or blender, blend soup in batches with yogurt and mustard until smooth.
  5. Add soup with reserved mushrooms back to saucepan and heat gently until hot. Garnish with fresh thyme and white truffle oil if desired.
Serves 6

Monday, December 8, 2014

Lemony Roasted Brussels Sprouts!

Here's a super easy Brussels sprout side dish that's gluten free and vegan. It's a perfect way to introduce these healthy little buggers to someone who insists that they hate them. The key to perfect sprouts is not to over cook them or they become kind of stinky and mushy. That being said, in this dish the sprouts come out lightly tender. If you like them more tender, you can drop them into hot water for 2 minutes and drain before you roast them. You can also garnish these with chopped parsley leaves and a sprinkle of vegan or dairy Parmesan (optional).

Lemony Roasted Brussels Sprouts:

  • 2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, outer leaves removed, rinsed and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

  1. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon rind, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet and roast 20-25 minutes, stirring once half way through, until sprouts are golden brown and caramelized on the outside and still tender on the inside.
Serves 4

Monday, December 1, 2014

Vegan Autumn Harvest Stew!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving last week! This week I'm making this super comforting and hearty vegan stew with Italian flavors to combat the extreme cold weather we've had recently.
Directions for a cold night: 1. Pour this stew over some gluten free pasta and top with your favorite shredded vegan or dairy cheese. 2. Curl up on couch with fuzzy throw and watch ridiculously funny comedy flick (I used Horrible Bosses). 3. Enjoy!

Vegan Autumn Harvest Stew:

  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 organic yellow squash, cubed
  • 1 can organic cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can organic Italian tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil and parsley leaves, chopped
  • 4 cups vegan, gluten free broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • gluten free pasta, cooked (optional)
  1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil under medium heat, add garlic and saute until golden 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add butternut squash and saute until tender, about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Add yellow squash, broth, tomatoes, beans, herbs and salt and pepper.
  4. Turn heat down to medium/low and simmer for about 20 minutes until squash is tender and broth has reduced a bit, stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve over cooked pasta and top with shredded vegan or dairy cheese of your choice (optional).
Serves 4