Vegan Quinoa and Roasted Veggie Bowl

Another week, another vegan recipe!… So I was faced with a dilemma when making this recipe. I eat pretty much every food on the planet that I am not allergic to except jelly, soy butter, sesame butter or almond butter. Looking at the obvious, I’m sure that as a kid I developed a subconscious fear of anything related to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the classic lunch that all of my classmates growing would eat at lunch.

 If someone around me ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich I would actually have to move to a table away from my friends and often eat on a bench outside of the cafeteria. Actually, for a long time I simply wouldn’t touch sandwich bread because I convinced myself that I absolutely hated sandwiches.Flash forward to 8 year later and I still cannot touch jelly or any peanut-butter substitute. This is not out of stubbornness, I have repeatedly tried, over and over again, to eat both and every time sat at the table with a terrible taste in my mouth, having lost my appetite.

When I came across this recipe on minimalist baker, I immediately knew that I HAD to make it for dinner that night. It was a beautiful and clean recipe with my favorite starches and my favorite vegetables. It wasn’t until I tasted my first bite of plain tahini that I realized that it had the exact same taste as sesame-butter. Immediately feeling nauseous and convinced that I had just created the worst dish in the world, I served this dish to my parents with an apologetic grimace on my face.

My dad took his first bite, which was covered in the tahini sauce, and smiled. She said that the sauce was incredible and that she was amazed by the way that the subtly sweet flavors of the vegetable contrasted the flavor of the tahini sauce.

 

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INGREDIANTS

VEGETABLES

8 whole carrots, peeled and quartered (large pieces halved)

2 cups quartered baby yellow potatoes

2 Tbsp maple syrup, divided

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

Healthy pinch each sea salt + black pepper

1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (or dried)

3 cups halved Brussels sprouts

1 cup squash or zucchini cut into 1 inch pieces (OPTIONAL)

QUINOA

1 cup white quinoa, well rinsed + drained

1 3/4 cups water

Pinch sea salt

Tahini Sauce

1/2 cup (120 g ) tahini

1 lemon, juiced (~3 Tbsp or 45 ml)

2-3 Tbsp (30-45 ml) maple syrup

GARNISH with basil, parsley etc.

 

 DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add the carrots and potatoes (and squash or zucchini) to the sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp maple syrup, 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Toss to combine and bake for 12 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, for the quinoa, heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add rinsed quinoa to lightly sautée before adding water to evaporate leftover moisture and bring out a nutty flavor.
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Then reduce heat to a simmer and cover.
  5. Cook for 18-22 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Then open lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Tilt the lid, remove from the heat, and set aside.
  6. When the veggies are at the 12-minute mark, remove pan from the oven and add the Brussels sprouts. Top with remaining 1 Tbsp oil, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, and another pinch each salt and pepper. Loosely toss to combine.
  7. Return pan to oven and roast for 10-12 minutes more or until Brussels sprouts are golden brown and the carrots and potatoes are fork tender. (This ensures that the potatoes and carrots are cooked through and the Brussels don’t get too soft.)
  8. Prepare the Tahini Sauce by adding tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup to a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Add 2 Tbsp (30 ml) warm water at a time and whisk until thick but pourable. Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness or lemon juice for acidity.
  9. To serve, divide quinoa and vegetables between serving bowls and top with a generous drizzle of tahini sauce. Top with garnish of choice, such as pomegranate arils or fresh herbs.

Love,

Ally

 

 

(Minimalist Baker https://minimalistbaker.com/roasted-vegetable-quinoa-harvest-bowls/)

Vegan Summer Corn Soup

Living in such a large and skyscraper-orientated city, I have begun to slowly develop a distorted definition of what it means to be in nature. When I lived in California, being in genuine nature would consist of hiking up to field on a hill, surrounded by bugs and trees, where the closest thing to the rest of the modern world was the cell tower a few hills away. Now, my view of “being in nature” consists of running through the concrete-laden, streetlight-lit riverside park. Here, beautiful buildings tower over you, obstructing the sun from your eyes.
So, I spent the last two weeks in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins, taking a class on laboratory studies (fun fact: we chose a plant from a garden and extracted its DNA and did some more complicated stuff and then sent it in for sequencing— also relates to nature 🙂  ).
After the class ended, I was able to spend a couple of days at a childhood friend’s aunt and uncle’s house in Baltimore. My friend, who lives in California, was spending the summer working in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins hospital and lived with her aunt and uncle. Going to this house completely altered my distorted view of what it meant to live naturally. We spent a couple days canoeing around their mini-lake, going on jogs in their backyard, which also happened to be the woods, and cooking meals with veggies picked directly from their garden. We made a delicious casserole with potatoes and basil that we had picked 30 minutes before cooking. The dish was not only incredible but was the freshest-tasting dish that I had eaten since I moved to New York City.
When I got home I decided that I wanted to try to cook more plant-based and natural recipes. While I can’t build a garden on my roof, I can cook using ingredients that were grown in soil. I found this plant-based recipe soon after getting back and quickly got cooking.
Like the casserole, this dish tasted so fresh and didn’t taste anything close to artificial or creamy. When taking a bite of this dish, it was evident that no ingredient in this dish was created directly from a factory. So delicious and so fresh. ENJOY!
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INGREDIENTS:

2-3 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 large white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 small red potatoes quartered (peeling, optional)

Sea salt and ground black pepper

3 ears corn (or 1.5 cans), kernels sliced off

2 cups low sodium veggie broth

2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk

2-3 green onions, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute olive oil, onion, and garlic and for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add potato to the pan, season with a little salt and pepper, and cover to steam for 4-5 minutes.
  3. After steaming, add most of the corn, reserving a few tablespoons for garnish, and stir.
  4. Add broth and almond milk, cover, and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Cook until the potatoes are soft and slide off of a knife when pierced – about 5 minutes.
  6. Add 3/4 of the soup to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth.
  7. Transfer soup back to the saucepan and bring back to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Cook for at least 10 minutes to let thicken. The longer it simmers, the more flavorful it will be.
  8. To serve, top with chopped green onion, remaining fresh (or lightly sauteed) corn, and black pepper. Add a sprinkle of paprika for color.

Love,

Ally

 

Recipe from the minimalist baker (my favorite!!)

Gluten-Free Lemon Pie

As I mentioned in my last post, we recently bought a bunch of bags of gluten-free pie crust. My gluten-free mom was ecstatic when they came in the mail, and I have been working on a bunch of gluten-free pies, quiche etc. for the past couple of weeks.

Also….. SUMMER!! I had my last day of junior year last week and am so excited for the best summer to come. I have a bunch of classes, volleyball camps, and working with an organization called DOROT (check out their adult, child, and teen volunteering programs dorotusa.org, their work is incredible). Nevertheless, I am 100% surely going to have more time to cook, bake, and work on my blog.

In the spirit of summer, I decided to make a gluten-free lemon (non-meringue [ew]) pie. I have a tendency to only cook fruit dishes in the summer, so I knew that the best way to celebrate the beginning of the season was cook a lemon dish! I decided that I wanted to make the recipe more unique and added a layer of lemon curd on the top of the pie.

This pie is basically a giant lemon bar that tastes even more delicious. The smooth texture of the pie goes perfectly with the very sweet taste; you need to have a strong sweet tooth to enjoy this dish.

ENJOY!!

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Ingredients

Gluten-Free Pie Crust
1 1/4 cups Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour 
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter
1 large egg
2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar
Lemon Base
3 egg yolks 
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water 
3 tablespoons butter or margarine 
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 drops yellow food color, if desired
Lemon Curd Topping
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons of lemon zest
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
6 tablespoons of butter cut into very small squares

Directions

  1. Whisk together the flour or flour blend, sugar, xanthan gum, and salt.
  2. Cut the cold butter into pats, then work the pats into the flour mixture until it’s crumbly, with some larger, pea-sized chunks of butter remaining.
  3. Whisk the egg and vinegar or lemon juice together until very foamy. Mix into the dry ingredients. Stir until the mixture holds together, adding 1 to 3 additional tablespoons cold water if necessary.
  4. Shape into a ball and chill for an hour (up to overnight). Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 475 and lightly grease a 9″ pie pan
  6. Roll out on a piece of plastic wrap, on a silicone rolling mat, or in a pie bag that’s been heavily sprinkled with gluten-free flour or flour blend. Invert the crust into the prepared pie pan.
  7. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is light brown color.
  8. When the crust is done remove from over and lower oven heat to 400 .
  9. While the crust is cooking beat egg yolks together with a fork.
  10. In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch; gradually stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.
  11. Immediately stir at least half of hot mixture into egg yolks; stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 2 minutes; remove from heat.
  12. Stir in butter, lemon peel, lemon juice and food color.
  13. Pour into pie crust. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until the surface of the pie is not longer wet.
  14. Cool away from draft for around 30 minutes.
  15. While the pie is cooling make the lemon curd. 
    1. Whisk the juice, eggs, and sugar together in a saucepan. Mix in the butter over low heat. CONTINUE TO WHISK, if the eggs become overheated they will cook on their own. 
    2. Whisk for around six minutes or until the curd is thick and the lines of the whisk hold. It will be done when the first bubbles appear.
    3. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Immediately cover and cool for 15 minutes
  16. After 15 minutes, spread the still-warm curd over the top of the lemon pie.
  17. Let sit for another hour and then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Love,

Ally

 

 

 

100% Homemade Spinach Quiche

A few weeks ago my mom, who is gluten free and had been craving quiche for months, ordered five bags of gluten-free pie crust mix online. When it came in the mail, she was so excited to have quiche for the first time in five years, that I knew I had to get cooking right away. So, I spent the entire next Saturday making her two quiches and a lemon pie with gluten free crust.

When scouring the internet for recipes, I found a quiche recipe online with steller reviews and decided to get cooking. The recipe called for an entire half-cup of butter, and before I realized the amount of butter 1/2 a cup was, I had already put it in the quiche. Unfortunately the quiche came out a little too buttery and wet for my mom’s taste, so I knew that I would have to try again. On the second try, I only added two tablespoons of butter, used fresh spinach, and added a little bit more salt and was pleased to find that the quiche tasted perfect! I would highly reccomend using as many fresh ingrediants as possible. The fresher the better!!!

ENJOY! oh… and here are a couple link to some good gluten free pie crusts…

1. https://www.amazon.com/Moon-Rabbit-Gluten-Pastry-16-4-Ounce/dp/B007SM715K/ref=sr_1_8_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1496112570&sr=8-8&keywords=gluten%2Bfree%2Bpie%2Bcrust%2Bmix&th=1

2. https://www.amazon.com/Glutino-Gluten-Free-Pantry-16-Ounce/dp/B000EVIDVI/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1496112617&sr=8-3&keywords=gluten+free+pie+crust+mix

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
    • I would reccomend substituting for 10oz of microwaved fresh spinach for fresher ingredients.
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
  • 1 (6 ounce) package herb and garlic feta, crumbled
  • 8 ounce shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
    • For a recipe for a pie crust see below.
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup whole milk (skim milk for low-fat option))
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion in butter until lightly browned, about 7 minutes.
  3. Stir in spinach, mushrooms, feta and 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into pie crust.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into the pastry shell, allowing egg mixture to thoroughly combine with spinach mixture.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle top with remaining Cheddar cheese, and bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes, until set in center. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

 

Non-Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe (NyTimes Cooking Recipe)

  • 145 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter (1/4 pound), cut in 1/8-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons ice water

Directions

  1. Put flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor. Add butter and quickly cut it into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Add ice water and mix briefly, about 30 seconds, to form a soft dough. Remove dough, shape into a thick disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Bring to cool room temperature before rolling.
  3. To roll, lightly flour dough and counter. Roll out gradually, periodically letting dough rest for a moment before continuing. This makes rolling easier and will keep dough from shrinking back during baking.
  4. Roll dough to a thin round approximately 13 inches in diameter, then trim to make a 12-inch circle (refrigerate and save trimmings for patching). Lay dough loosely into a 9 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom, letting it relax a bit. Fold overlap back inside to make a double thickness, then press firmly against the pan so the finished edge is slightly higher than the pan. Refrigerate or freeze for an hour before pre-baking.

Love,

Ally

Gluten-Free Coconut Chia Macaroons

Sorry for the long absence, I decided to take a short break from this blog for the last few months because of my busy schedule. My volleyball practices ended a few weeks ago and, because I used to always cook for my team, I have a variety of recipes waiting to be posted!!! Since practices and tournaments are over and a class that I was taking at John Jay College has ended, I should have a little bit more time to post. Hopefully after finals and the project based assessments/PBAs (my public schools opts out of standardized testing and instead tests knowledge through difficult essays, projects and presentations) I will be able to resume my weekly postings!!

I recently saved up to buy lighting equipment and I am hoping to slowly improve the quality of my foodography over the next months. I’m looking forward to “revamping” my website this summer! Much more to come!!!

I decided to repost these macaroons with a new and improved recipe and photos. This recipe is extremely simple, perfect for a snack on a cool spring day, and absolutely delicious. A lot of sweet desserts can often have an artificial and non-natural taste to them. I love how these macaroons lacks all of those qualities and always seem to taste natural and delicious. Definitely a healthier (and gluten free) alternative to cookies!!

ENJOY!

 

 

 

INGREDIANTS:

1/2 cup softened butter

1 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup sifted coconut flour (Specifically Trader joe’s)

2 cups Shredded Sweetened Coconut

1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly grease a baking sheet
  2. Lightly blend the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla together. Stir in the coconut flour, shredded coconut and the chia seeds.
  3. The mixture shouldn’t be wet, like a batter. If the mixture is not dry, add additional flour.
  4. Drop tablespoon sized scoops (using a tablespoon or a cookie scoop) onto the baking sheet. The macaroons don’t expand, so don’t worry about placing them close together.
  5. Bake for 12-15 Minutes or until golden brown. The coconut flakes protruding from the macaroons will be significantly darker (see image above). Immediately transfer to a cooling rack and let sit until cool.

Love,

Ally!!

Gluten-Free Challah

I have so many memories of sitting on the counter in our California kitchen, face and hands covered in flour. In front of me lay three balls of dough. I would grab a ball of dough and roll it between my hands until it formed a small and wide rope. I would then grab each end of the rope with one of my tiny hands and swing the rope in circles, like the way a jump rope swings. After the rope was long enough, I would move on to the next ball. After all the balls were rolled out into even ropes, I would attach them together at one side and begin to brain. I don’t remember ever learning how to braid challah, only knowing how to do it. Once the three ropes were perfectly braided together, I would use “the egg brush” to coat the top of the challah with egg. I would place the braided dough in the oven and 20 minutes later my mom would pull out a perfect loaf of gorgeous challah.

As a got older, we started making challah less and less. Four years ago, my mom went gluten-free, completely stopping our, although rare, challah-making tradition. Since today is Friday and I had the day off of school, I decided that I REALLY wanted to make some challah. On my way home from an orientation for a college course I am taking  at John Jay College, I stopped by gristedes to buy ingredients for a different recipe I was planning on making, and ran into some gluten-free yeast. I quickly grabbed the yeast (I obviously didn’t steal it) and ran home to make gluten-free challah. Since I was expecting the challah to come out tasteless and dry, I was ecstatic to find that I LOVEDDDDD it!

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INGREDIANTS

1/3 cup+ warm water

1 package rapid rise gf yeast

1 tsp. granulated cane sugar

1 cup full-fat coconut milk

1 tablespoon + 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

5 large egg yolks at room temperature (slightly mixed)

1/3 cup canola oil, coconut oil (warmed to liquid) or extra virgin olive oil

4 Tbs. honey, agave nectar or molasses

4 cups all purpose gluten-free flour

3 Tbs. + 2 tsp. granulated cane sugar

1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder

1 large egg, mixed

chia seeds, sprinkles, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, raisins, chocolate chips etc.

DIRECITONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200º F, then turn it off and leave the oven door closed. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar to proof the yeast; set aside. It should take around five minutes to bubble/proof. If no change is seen by then, through it out and start again with new yeast, sugar and water.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, egg yolks, oil and honey together until completely combined.
  4. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt baking soda and baking power in a separate bowl.
  5. Stir in the proofed water/yeast mixture into the bowl of the stand mixture. Then, gradually stir in the dry ingredients until fully integrated, adding more warm water by the tablespoon as needed to get the dough soft and so that the dough is not tight or stiff, then mix 1-2 minutes more on medium speed.
  6. Once the dough is combined, divide it in half and divide each half into three equally-sized balls. The dough will be sticky, so use extra gluten-free flour on your hands and rolling surface. Roll each ball out into an 18-inch coil or log on a clean, flat surface dusted lightly with Flour.
  7. Pinch together one end of each coil, possibly wetting them slightly with water to help them join together at the top if necessary. Braid the three coils together, pinching together at the end.
  8. Gently transfer it to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat for the second set of three balls.
  9. In a small bowl, mix the extra egg together and brush over each loaf well, coating the entire top surface. Sprinkle the seeds or any toppings at this point, then place the tray (covering the loaves with wax paper sprayed with cooking oil) into the preheated oven for approximately 20 – 30 minutes. (Don’t expect the bread to rise much at this stage).
  10. Once risen slightly, place the uncovered tray in an oven preheated to 350º F (static) or 325º F (convection) for 20 minutes. Remove to cool on a wire rack.

Thanks,

Ally

Original recipe credit to GFJules [fun fact: my mom also goes by jules and is gluten free! How weird]

Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow

So it seems like the cooking-debate of the year is the difference between sweet potatoes and yams. Is this dish called Sweet Potatoes and Marshmallow or Yams and Marshmallow? According to my husband, Google, the yams you see in Grocery stores are usually not TRUE yams, which are native to Asia and Africa and are found in international markets or abroad. The yams in grocery stores are simply a firmer form of the regular sweet potato, with extremely subtle differences in the flavors. Interesting, right?

I’m not exactly sure what to say about this dish except for that it was by far the best dish of the Thanksgiving holiday. Everyone at my Thanksgiving meal got second helpings of the dish and at one point told me how delicious it was. I know many people are impartial to the idea of marshmallows over sweet potatoes, but this dish was absolutely incredible. While it is very sweet, every single ingredient works to perfectly combine the flavors of the central ingrediants.

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INGREDIENTS

4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar

5 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pinch of ground ginger

3 cups miniature marshmallows

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange potatoes in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Combine sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  2. Pour over potatoes; toss to coat. Cover dish tightly with foil.
  3. Bake potatoes 50 minutes. Uncover; bake until potatoes are tender and syrup thickens slightly, basting occasionally, about 20 minutes.
  4. Increase oven temperature to 500°F. Top potatoes with marshmallows and nuts. Return to oven; bake until marshmallows begin to melt and nuts begin to brown. (about 3 minutes).

Love,

Ally

My 16th, Gluten-Free Vanilla Birthday Cake!!

So, October 25th was my 16th birthday and I decided that this year that I didn’t want to go out of my way to celebrate. I had a bat-mitzvah a few years ago, and I think that was big enough of a party. But, I did end up having a really really unique day. I had a volleyball game at my school (which we won of course) and afterwards my dad brought doughnuts from down the street. My team and I all sat around and hung out for a little while. I was able to get my massive amounts of homework done ahead of time, so I just had a fun, relaxing night.

After the volleyball game, my dad and I took the train to 84th and Amsterdam, where we ate at an incredible restaurant called Jacob’s Pickles. We ordered fried artichokes as a starter and they were amazing. I decided to order a warm and perfectly seasoned salmon salad for dinner, while my dad ate a chicken sandwich. Obviously, being a big foodie, I couldn’t have been happier to try such perfectly cooked and savory foods.

On the way home from the resturant, we stopped at the Ben and Jerry’s across from our apartment on 103rd and Broadway to buy my beloved ice cream cake, but soon realized that all the cakes ‘may contain nuts’. So we walked up to 107th and bought a java chip and dulce de leche cake that made my love for ice cream cakes only grow. After eating cake and opening presents, I ended my day by watching an episode of House MD.

🙂

The following weekend, on the 29th, my family threw a little party with some family friends, and I couldn’t wait to make my halloween themed birthday cake. I decided that I wanted to try just making a simple white cake with a sweet and flavorful lemon, cream cheese, buttercream frosting. The cake turned out perfect, both internally, eternally and flavorfully. I hope you enjoy!!!

**I added a bunch of sprinkles into the batter before putting the batter onto the prepared pans. It comes out really cute and I would definitely reccomend it for a fun cake.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups  all purpose gluten free flour blend

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (unless your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

4 egg whites + 1 whole egg , at room temperature

1 1/3 cups (10 2/3 fluid ounces) buttermilk, at room temperature

*To halve the recipe, use 3 egg whites (75 g) in place of the 4 egg whites and 1 whole egg.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease 2 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottom of each with a round of parchment paper (trace the perimeter of the cake pan on the parchment, then cut out the circle). Set the pans aside.

  2. Into a medium-size bowl, sift the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking soda and baking powder. Add the salt, and whisk to combine well. Set dry ingredients aside.

  3.  In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for at least 3 minutes, stopping at least once to scrape the entire mixture off the sides and bottom of the bowl. The mixture should be very light and fluffy.

  4. Separately, whisk together the egg whites, egg and buttermilk in a small bowl.

  5. Alternate adding the the dry ingredients with the buttermilk and egg mixture in 4 different parts, starting and ending with the dry. The batter may appear curdled at times.

  6. Once all of the ingredients have been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and beat for another minute on medium speed to ensure that everything is combined. Then turn over the batter a few times by hand. It should be very thickly pourable and relatively smooth.

  7. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared baking pans and smooth each into an even layer with an offset spatula. To remove air bubbles, bang each pan on the counter a few times.

  8. Place the baking pans in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes rotate the pans, and continue to bake until the cakes are lightly golden brown all over, and have began to pull away from the sides. This will be around another 10 minutes, baking for a total of about 30.

  9. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 15 minutes before turning out upside down onto a wire rack (and removing the parchment paper liners). Cool completely before frosting and serving.
  10. Here is the lemon, cream cheese buttercream frosting recipe. I will post my modified version at another time.(http://allrecipes.com/recipe/7556/lemon-cream-cheese-frosting/)

Love,

Ally

Simple Gluten-Free Pancakes

Although Gluten-Free cooking and baking rarely tastes as good as cooking with Gluten, making gluten free recipes hasn’t proved as difficult to me as I expected. The wide variety of different gluten free tricks and ingredients has made being gluten-free in the 21st century relatively easy if you set your mind to it. BUT, surprisingly, one of the most difficult gluten-free challenges that I have faced are completely homemade gluten free pancakes.

There are many different gluten free pancake mixes that make incredible pancakes, but for some reason making gluten-free pancakes from scratch is really hard for me. They seem to always be too dry, not puffy enough, too dense or just tasteless. The other day, I found a recipe on the back of a gluten-free all-purpose flour bag and decided to try it out…. they were soooooo good! If I was given a plate of regular pancakes and a plate of these gluten-free ones, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell which is which. They were very moist, fluffy and flavorful. My mom and I didn’t even need syrup to enjoy them! I hope they come out as good for you as they did for me!

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INGREDIENTS

3cup gluten-free flour (I use Gluten-Free Flour Blend)

1teaspoon xanthan gum or 12 teaspoon guar gum

1 1teaspoons baking powder

1teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

2cup milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

2 tablespoons cooking oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, vanilla, eggs, and cooking oil.
  3. Add milk mixture to the dry ingredients, and whisk until well blended.
  4. Let stand for about 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat ungreased, non-stick frying pan to medium heat.
  6. Pour batter by spoonfuls onto the hot pan.
  7. Pancakes are ready to be turned over when the edges are no longer glossy, and the bubbles that pop stay open. To check the second side for doneness, you just have to lift an edge of the pancake up with a spatula and take a peek.

Love,

Ally

Gluten Free Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

YAYYAYAY!! It’s fall, which is unquestionably the best season of the year! These next three months are home to combat boots, rain (my fave!), scarves, cute sweaters, hot tea, coffee, pumpkin flavored foods and drinks, Halloween (my favorite holiday), my birthday (obviously the most important holiday), and Thanksgiving. My love for baking and cooking definitely peaks in the fall and I have been waiting to buy pumpkin puree for the last 8 months. Before having my first afternoon without massive amounts of homework (thanks junior year), I ran to the store and grabbed a can of pumpkin and some nutmeg. I got home, decided to make gluten-free pumpkin snickerdoodles, which, although similar to my fall pumpkin cookies, are something I have never made before.
I made one regular gluten free snickerdoodle batch, and then a batch where I added the nutmeg and pumpkin. The Pumpkin ones definitely overshadowed the regular cookies (according to my mom and I). Enjoy!

Ingredients

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Gluten-Free all-purpose flour

1 large egg
1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

Cinnamon Sugar

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine 3/4 cup sugar and butter in bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add all remaining cookie ingredients; beat at low speed until well mixed.
  3. Combine all cinnamon sugar ingredients in bowl; mix well.
  4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.
  5. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

 

 Love Ally!