Category Archives: Eggs

Southwestern Omelet and a Call for Recipe Testers

I love eggs. They’re not only healthy, a great source of inexpensive protein (even happy, free-range eggs don’t cost much), and one of the speediest things to cook, they also are SO tasty. One of my favorite ways to enjoy an egg is simply cooked sunny-side up, followed closely by poached. But sometimes, I want something with a little more flair, and more ability to incorporate the plethora of veggies in my kitchen. This is when an omelet is just the thing.

Omelets don’t need to be complicated. Of course, mine aren’t as delicately fancy and thin as some, but for my everyday breakfast, that’s fine by me. Just a single fold – enough to allow the filling inside to get all warm, melty, and mingled with the egg – works for my quick and healthy breakfast. I’ll save the fancier stuff for fancier occasions.

Another bonus about omelets – each one is customizable. That way, if you’re making omelets for other family members, everyone can pick out their favorite fillings. Today, I opted for a Southwestern style – a sauteed mix of shallots, diced tomato, serrano pepper, and spinach, topped with just a tiny bit of Daiya cheese. It was spicy, fresh, and packed with powerful flavors, but light enough so that I had energy to get on with my day. My kind of breakfast.

Southwestern Omelet (makes 1 omelet)

1 T olive oil

2 T sliced shallots

4-5 slices fresh serrano pepper (or more if you’re daring – my chile was HOT!)

1/4 c diced tomato

1 large handful of baby spinach

2 eggs, scrambled

2 T Daiya (or other non-dairy) cheese, or omit

1 T fresh chopped cilantro

Heat a small skillet (mine was about 8 inches) to medium heat and add half of the oil. Saute the shallots and serrano chile for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add tomato and spinach and continue to saute until spinach is wilted. Remove and set aside in a small bowl. Wipe out the skillet and add the rest of the oil. Swirl to coat well. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the eggs. Allow eggs to sit without stirring for a minute. Once eggs start to cook on the bottom, take a flexible spatula and carefully pull the edges of the eggs away from the skillet and allow the runny part to fill the space underneath. Do this all the way around the omelet. Repeat this once or twice more, or until the egg is starting to set up more. Once nearly set, add your veggie mixture on one side of the omelet and top with Daiya cheese. Top with a bit of cilantro. Then carefully flip the empty side of the omelet over onto the filling, holding the top in place for a moment or two, if necessary, until the egg stays folded. Allow to cook for another 30 seconds or so, and carefully remove from pan and put onto plate.

Enjoy.

Okay, by announcing it here, this makes it official, right? Are you ready? (Am I ready? Eeek!)

I am working on my first e-book! This book will be filled with gluten and dairy-free recipes that are tasty and healthy for the whole family, made from whole foods and real ingredients. But I need your help to make this happen. I will be furiously working on recipes here at home, but I need testers! If you’re interested in testing out recipes, please send me an email at alta2924 (at) hotmail (dot) com. I hope to be able to have recipe testing start in the next month or so. Thank you in advance for all of your help! This is a huge step for me, and I have so many dreams for this book – I certainly hope it’s as exciting for you as it will be for me!

Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger: Real Sustenance (Bacon Sage Popovers and Orange Zested Carrot Fries)

 

This month for Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger (which is a totally awesome monthly event hosted by and the brain child of Sea at Book of Yum) I adopted Brittany of Real Sustenance. Brittany is an over-achiever in the gluten-free world – if you don’t believe me, just check out this raw cake she made recently for her April in the Raw series, or this white cake that is free of gluten, dairy, soy, egg, and refined sugar. There is definitely no food intolerance that Brittany can’t work around, and she takes on the challenge full force. She’s definitely an inspiration.

But in spite of all of the enticing desserts Brittany has shared on her blog, I opted to go the savory route. I was making shepherd’s pie for dinner this past weekend, and thought we needed a special little treat to go along with it – Bacon Sage Popovers! (because what’s one more carb in a carb-heavy meal?)

These popovers were fun! I loved that they had that nice little flavor of bacon. They also were excellent for sopping up a bit of sauce (or as a mashed potato delivery device) that was in the shepherd’s pie. I wish I would have put more sage in them – I used fresh sage from my garden - but that will definitely be considered for next time. In the back of my mind, I also thought that bacon and sage would be a great combination for biscuits. I will have to think about that the next time biscuits are on the menu.

Then I found Brittany’s recipe for Orange Zested Carrot Fries. Carrots, masquerading as fries? Sure, why not? I like sweet potato fries, so I thought I’d give these a go. They were easy to throw together, although at first I was worried that there would be too much seasoning. But once the “fries” spent some time in the oven, I realized this clearly wasn’t the case. The seasoning made a crust, of sorts, (if I had to compare it to something, I’d say it resembled a better-spiced version of the coating on the curly fries popular at several major fast food restaurants – probably not the best comparison, but they were really tasty!) and the finished “fries” were crispy outside, perfectly seasoned, and sweet and creamy inside. These were perfect with or without ketchup. My only suggestion – make double or triple the recipe next time. I ate the entire thing by myself. (whoops)

I do fully intend to indulge in some of Brittany’s recipes for sweet treats soon. They all look so tempting. I did also “unofficially” try her vanilla-banana chai smoothie. Well, a version of it, anyway. I opted to use half the banana, make it extra thick (so less almond milk), and blend in a small cooked sweet potato. I then topped it with some grain-free granola (courtesy of Good Morning! Breakfasts without Gluten, Sugar, Eggs or Dairy), yogurt-style, and ate it with a spoon. (Sorry, no picture, it was 5 AM that it was made, and the granola wasn’t placed on top until I was at work this morning, eating my breakfast.) It was creamy and delicious, and I was so glad for the banana and chai smoothie inspiration!

Real Sustenance is definitely a real find in the gluten-free world. I can’t wait to see what Brittany dreams up next!

Daring Cooks: Eggs Benedict

Jenn from Jenn Cuisine and Jill (Jillouci) have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.

While I’ve poached many an egg in my day (I even know how to do it in the microwave), I have actually never made eggs benedict, so I took this opportunity to try it out. It’s one of my favorite “classic” breakfast dishes, and I’ve neglected to make it on a weekend morning, simply because in my head, I felt that making hollandaise was “too fussy” and would take too long.

Boy, was I wrong. I made this for dinner last night (breakfast for dinner is something I really must do more often!) and it really didn’t take much time or effort at all! The hollandaise came together in a flash, and was creamy and delicious. I opted to use a Kinnikinnick hamburger bun instead of coming up with a gluten-free English muffin, and it worked just fine. I also substituted Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread for the butter, and it too was perfect. Now that I’ve realized how simple the basic, traditional eggs benedict recipe is to make, I have hopes to make a fancy, pimped out version again sometime soon. (Anyone have suggestions?)

Another great Daring Cooks challenge complete! Thanks to Jenn and Jill for this easy and delicious challenge!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Eggs Benedict

For the hollandaise:

3 large egg yolks

1-2 t water

pinch sugar

10 T dairy-free butter

1/2 t kosher salt

2 t freshly squeezed lemon juice

pinch cayenne pepper

For the eggs benedict:

4 eggs

1 T vinegar

4 thin slices ham (or Canadian bacon)

4 gluten-free English muffins (or other gluten-free bread)

 Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a simmer. Cut the chilled butter into small pieces and set aside. Whisk egg yolks and water in a mixing bowl large enough to sit on the saucepan without touching the water (or in top portion of a double boiler). Whisk for 1–2 minutes, until egg yolks lighten. Add the sugar and whisk 30 seconds more.

Place bowl on saucepan over simmering water and whisk steadily 3–5 minutes (it only took about 3 for me) until the yolks thicken to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat (but let the water continue to simmer) and whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time. Move the bowl to the pan again as needed to melt the butter, making sure to whisk constantly.

Once all the butter is incorporated, remove from heat and whisk in the salt, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. Keep the hollandaise warm while you poach your eggs.

Crack eggs individually into bowls. Fill a shallow pan with about 2 inches of water.  Add salt and a splash of vinegar (any kind will do). Bring to a simmer. Slip eggs directly into the very gently simmering water, making sure they’re separated. Cook for 3 minutes for a viscous but still runny yolk.

While waiting for the eggs, quickly fry the ham slices and toast your English muffin. Top each half of English muffin with a piece of ham. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, draining well, and place on top of the bacon. Top with hollandaise and garnish with chives or chopped sage, and enjoy!

Gluten-Free Holiday: Holiday Breakfast and Brunch (Breakfast Tacos/Taquitos)

Can you believe we are in our 5th installment of Gluten-Free Holiday? Time flies, I tell you! This week we are celebrating over at Ginger Lemon Girl and sharing recipes for holiday breakfast and brunch. I can’t wait to check out what recipes have been shared. But even more exciting are the books that are up for grabs this week!

There will be 4 copies of Elana Amsterdam’s The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook and 3 Elana’s Pantry totes. I own this book, and love it – the recipes are simple, straightforward, and delicious!

2 copies of Cooking For Isaiah by Silvana Nardone - a book I have yet to get my hands on, but can’t wait to check out!

And 3 copies of Gluten-Free Diner by Diane Eblin of The W.H.O.L.E. Gang – another wonderful book I’m proud to own. She serves up delicious comfort foods in this book.

This week’s recipe links are of particular interest to me. Why? Well, our family doesn’t typically put much thought into holiday breakfasts. Christmas morning is a frenzy of emptying stockings from Santa, opening gifts, snapping photos of bed-head kids tearing apart wrapping paper, and bargaining with them on how many chocolates (from their stocking) they can eat for breakfast. (Usually it’s just 1 piece, and hey, it’s twice a year they get candy for breakfast!) If we’re not dashing off to someone else’s house to celebrate, then I might whip up a breakfast, but it’s not much different than any other weekend breakfast. The favorite among our kids is breakfast tacos (called taquitos around here – not sure why!), which is just a simple mix of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and cheese. Most of the time, I can pry the kids away from their new gifts for 5 minutes to gobble some of these down. This year, however, I might actually plan ahead and start a new tradition – we’ll see!

Check out the recipe for breakfast tacos/taquitos here! To make them dairy-free, I simply omit the milk and use Daiya cheese, if I have some. Otherwise, I just omit the cheese – I don’t miss it anymore.

Head on over to Ginger Lemon Girl and check out some amazing recipes for your holiday breakfast/brunch!

Daring Cooks: Broccoli “Cheese” Souffle

Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.

While I’m no souffle expert, I have made a dessert souffle a few times (a banana, which I blogged about, and Gordon Ramsay’s chocolate recipe, which for some reason, didn’t make it on here!). So I wanted to try a savory souffle. Most savory souffles I’ve seen focus heavily on cheese. Since I don’t eat dairy, this seemed to be a bit of a challenge. When I came across a recipe at Eating Well for a broccoli goat cheese souffle, I thought perhaps that I could substitute Daiya for the goat cheese, and since there were other flavors included in the recipe, that it would still turn out well. It was an experiment, but when am I not up for an experiment?

I doubled the Dijon mustard to boost the flavor, and substituted potato starch for the flour. It was great fun watching the souffles rise – I turned the light on in the oven and admired the show. (Conversely, it was not as much fun trying to capture photos before the souffle settled – from the first photo to the last, you can see the slow fall of the dish! Definitely a race against time.) We enjoyed our souffles with a steak, and they were a perfectly light and delicious counterpart. Next time, I might opt to increase the Dijon and broccoli even more to boost the flavor, but it was still a lovely dish.

If you’ve never tried souffles before, and they seem intimidating, don’t be discouraged! They’re a lot easier than their reputation suggests. And even if they don’t rise as much as they should, you still have a lovely mousse to enjoy. This was a great Daring Cooks challenge!

Broccoli “Cheese” Souffle, adapted from Eating Well

1 1/2 c finely chopped broccoli florets

2 T grapeseed oil

2 T potato starch

1 1/4 c non-dairy milk (I used half almond milk, half coconut milk)

2 t Dijon mustard

1/4 t fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1/4 t salt

1/2 c Daiya mozzarella or other non-dairy cheese

3 large eggs, separated

2 large egg whites

1/4 t cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 4 10-ounce ramekins with cooking spray.

Place broccoli in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes or until broccoli is tender-crisp. Set aside.

Melt oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in potato starch and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Add non-dairy milk, Dijon mustard, thyme and salt and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in Daiya and 3 egg yolks. Transfer to large bowl.

Beat 5 egg whites in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, spoon half of the egg whites into the milk mixture and gently fold in. Add the other half of the egg whites and the broccoli and fold in just until no white streaks remain. Transfer to prepared ramekins.

Bake on a baking sheet until puffed, firm to the touch, and an instant-read thermometer reaches 160 degrees F, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Poached Egg in the Microwave – Guest Post at City|Life|Eats

By now, we all know that packing a lunch, rather than eating out, saves money and is healthier for us (At least, if we pack whole, unprocessed foods. A can of soup or ramen doesn’t really count as “healthier”.). But it takes time and effort to pack a lunch every day, and sometimes, you can fall into a rut. Valerie over at City|Life|Eats has been hosting a lunchbox series, where she highlights various healthy, unprocessed lunchbox ideas. I thought this was a great idea, so when she asked me to write a guest post, I was honored. I pack my lunch every weekday, and thought it’d be fun to contribute my thoughts and ideas. Today I’ll be sharing a great “trick” – how to poach an egg in the microwave! Head on over to City|Life|Eats to check it out, and while you’re there, browse around for some other great lunch ideas!

Daring Bakers: Chocolate Pavlovas with Almond Butter Cream

I’m definitely doing this challenge at the last minute – I decided to start the day it was due. I literally just finished plating one for the photo above! Normally, this wouldn’t be too much of an issue, but this time, I opted to make a dairy-free cream using a technique I’d never tried before. It was indeed an experiment – one I hoped I could pull off!

The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard.

I was excited that the challenge was naturally gluten-free. Hooray – less substitutions! However, the chocolate mascarpone mousse was not dairy-free. It called for cream and mascarpone cheese. Creating a substitute was something I contemplated for quite a few days. I knew that I saw a dairy-free cream cheese at the store, made from tofu. I strongly considered using that and coconut milk as a substitute for the cream, and following the rest of the recipe as written. I even picked up the tofu cream cheese at the store and carried to the checkout line. It was then that I decided I didn’t want it – I am not fond of the flavor of most soymilk products, and I really didn’t want to use tofu cream cheese. I put it back. I would come up with another idea.

A few days later, Noelle of An Opera Singer in the Kitchen turned me on to this raw, vegan, dairy-free cheesecake made from soaked cashews. (Available at Earth Cafe) Noelle insisted that those cheesecakes were amazing, and I was convinced that in the near future, I’d be ordering one to see for myself. Meanwhile, she also shared with me a new blog to check out, The Daily Raw Cafe, where a similar cheesecake recipe could be found. I was inspired.

Instead of making a chocolate mascarpone mousse, I opted for something a touch lighter – almond butter cream and strawberries. I set to make the cream, soaking cashews and blending them, adding coconut milk, almond butter, lemon…and the resulting texture and flavor of this cream was silky and rich. I can only imagine how lovely this would taste in a cheesecake – it was lovely here.

My pavlovas were piped a bit thinner than I’m used to. (The last time I made a pavlova, it was a more traditionally large, fluffy cake-like dessert) However, they were deliciously crisp and chewy, with a lovely chocolate marshmallow-like flavor. Topped with the rich cream and fresh strawberries, this was indeed a lovely summer dessert. I would love to try this again, making a large pavlova next time around. A bit thanks to Dawn for this month’s challenge!

Chocolate Pavlova

3 large egg whites

1/2 c plus 1 T granulated white sugar

1/4 c powdered sugar

1/3 c cocoa powder

Place two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 200 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or a Silpat and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Add the white sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whipping until the whites are stiff but not dry.

Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder over the whites, and fold gently in. This will not appear as though it will blend at first, but keep folding and it will come together.

Place into piping bag and pipe into desired shapes on the lined baking sheets. Alternatively, you can spoon out the meringue into circles and spread out evenly with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 2-3 hours (I baked mine for 2), until crisp. Allow to cool. You can store these in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Almond Butter Cream

2 c raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours in water

1/2 c agave nectar

3 T water

1 c coconut milk

1 t vanilla extract

½ t almond extract

6 T almond butter

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

Pinch sea salt

 Soak the cashews in water for at least an hour. Drain and add cashews, agave nectar, vanilla and almond extracts, and the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, into a blender. Blend until creamy, and add the coconut milk, almond butter, lemon zest, juice, and salt. Blend until smooth. Place in a bowl covered with plastic wrap and store in freezer for 1 hour or until thick, stirring once or twice during that time.

To assemble pavlovas:

Top each pavlova with 1-2 tablespoons of the almond butter cream. Top with sliced strawberries and serve immediately.

2010 World Cup South Africa – Bobotie

This Friday, June 11, 2010, marks the opening day of the 2010 FIFA World Cup games, held in South Africa. Soccer is the most widely played and enjoyed sport around the world, and it’s certainly the most popular sport in our household. My husband has played nearly his entire life, growing up in city leagues, playing for school, and enjoying adult amateur soccer, both indoors and out. He introduced me to indoor soccer – I started playing about 9 years ago (my previous experience was only a single season as a kindergartner – many years ago!), and while I’m not likely to be called up to the WPS anytime soon, it’s a great way to stay in shape, challenge myself, enjoy time with friends, and blow off steam. At home, we subscribe to a lot of specialty cable TV stations, just so my husband can watch as many of his beloved Chelsea games as he can. Of course, when we tune in this Saturday to watch the United States play England, we’ll be cheering our Team USA the whole way.

In anticipation of the upcoming games, I realized I knew next to nothing about South African cuisine. So I worked to educate myself. Turns out, South African cuisine is a “rainbow of cuisines” (as described by Wikipedia), as it is comprised of a variety of sources and cultures, including the cuisines of the indigenous people of South Africa, such as the Khoisan and Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho-speaking people, Indian and British immigrants and their cuisines, the cuisines of the Cape Malay people, and cultures such as Portuguese Mozambique. This makes for a wide variety of dishes and tastes. I was unsure of where to start, so I found one of the most popular dishes in South Africa – bobotie.

Bobotie is a meat dish consisting of ground/minced beef or lamb topped with an egg “custard”. The spices remind me of Indian and Malaysian cuisine, with the use of curry and turmeric, but the inclusion of nuts and fruit reminds me of other African dishes. While it takes a bit of time to make, the dish is relatively straightforward. I sifted through recipes, and decided upon a Martha Stewart recipe that looked tasty. I served it with a cinnamon basmati rice, also a variation on her recipe, which was full of flavor and enticing aromas. It was a tasty meal, and a perfect introduction into South African cuisine. I certainly plan to make another dish or two soon – does anyone have recommendations?

If you wish to browse other South African recipes, check out Meeta’s Monthly Mingle – South Africa Roundup over at What’s For Lunch, Honey? Those dishes all look inviting!

Gluten-Free Bobotie, adapted from Martha Stewart

3 T extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium yellow onions, chopped finely

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped coarsely

2 T minced fresh ginger

Salt and pepper

1 t ground turmeric

1 1/2 T Madras curry powder

2 lbs ground beef or lamb (I used lean ground bison)

1/2 c (1 oz) slivered almonds, toasted

4 slices gluten-free bread, crusts removed (I used Udi’s whole grain sandwich bread)

1 3/4 c whole milk

2 T mango chutney (or apricot preserves)

2 T fresh lemon juice

4 large eggs

1/8 t freshly ground nutmeg

1 t finely grated lemon zest

4 dry bay leaves

Cilantro and mango chutney as accompaniments (Martha also suggests lemon or lime wedges and unsweetened coconut)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. Add onions, apple, and ginger, and season with salt and pepper. Saute for about 10 minutes or until soft and golden brown. Add turmeric and curry powder and stir to combine. Add the ground meat, breaking into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Cook for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Stir in almonds and cook for 2 more minutes.

Tear the bread into large pieces and place in a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup of milk and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and let stand until the milk is absorbed. Add the bread mixture to the ground meat and cook, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes. Stir in mango chutney and lemon juice, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat, and taste. Adjust seasoning as needed, adding salt and pepper.

Spoon ground meat mixture into a 6 to 8-cup shallow baking dish. Whisk eggs, nutmeg, lemon zest, and remaining milk in a medium bowl. Pour over ground meat mixture. Place bay leaves in dish, pressing into filling just a bit. Bake until set around edges and center is no longer runny, about 35 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with accompaniments and cinnamon basmati rice.

Serves 6.

Cinnamon Basmati Rice, adapted from Martha Stewart

1 T unsalted butter

1 c raw basmati rice, rinsed

1 whole bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick

1 crushed green cardamom pod

2/3 c raisins

2 c water

salt and pepper

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add rice and saute until each grain is shiny and coated with butter mixture. Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cardamom pod, and raisins to saucepan. Add water and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to cook, covered, until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes more. Fluff and remove bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and cardamom pod. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Serves 4-6.

Kids in the Kitchen: Chocolate Ice Cream

Apparently, all of the kids wanted a chance to make  dessert. Matt chose chocolate ice cream as his dessert of choice. While we’ve made homemade ice cream in the past (this past summer, each of the kids made a different flavor), we haven’t done so specifically as part of the “Kids in the Kitchen” series. So – chocolate ice cream it was.

I don’t know why it took me years to get an ice cream maker. I suppose I just never saw the need for one – it was another appliance to take up space. But when I purchased my KitchenAid mixer last year, I received a rebate for a free ice cream maker. Of course, I took advantage – and I’ve loved it ever since! The ice cream maker attachment is simply a bowl that can be stored in your freezer, and a special paddle attachment. It mixes ice cream like a true champ – and with this recipe, you can have extremely creamy, chocolate-y ice cream that rivals the best store-bought brands. And it’s gluten-free (unlike my favorite Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate – why, oh why must wheat be in the strangest things?) What’s not to love?

Of course, Matt had to taste test every step of the way. Not that I blame him. With a bunch of creamy chocolate, who can resist? Our family devoured most of this ice cream last night, but I’m strongly considering sneaking into the freezer for a few more indulgent bites.

Chocolate Ice Cream, adapted from Alton Brown

1 1/2 oz unsweetened cocoa powder

1 c heavy cream

 2 c whole milk

1 c lite coconut milk (I had it leftover, so I thought I’d use it. You can substitute more whole milk if you’d like)

8 large, happy, free-range egg yolks

9 oz sugar

2 t vanilla extract

Place the cocoa powder and the cream into a medium saucepan and whisk. Add the  the milk and the coconut milk and whisk in. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally, and remove from heat.

In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolks with the sugar. Temper the egg yolk mixture by adding a few ladles of the milk mixture in and whisking with each addition. Pour the tempered egg yolk mixture into the remaining milk mixture and whisk until combined. Place back over medium-low heat and whisk until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon (about 175 degrees F). Pour the mixture into a freezable container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract, cover, and place in refrigerator for 4-8 hours.

Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s directions. Place in freezer for a few hours to allow the ice cream to firm up.

Makes 1 1/2 quarts.

Kids in the Kitchen: Angel Food Cake

Today was one of those days. No, not those days. Just a day where I misjudged. A day where I “should’ve known better”. A day where I was reminded that gluten-free baking doesn’t always turn out beautifully in my kitchen. Of course, I realize nobody’s perfect. Everything won’t score a 10 in our kitchen. This is an obvious fact of life. But I felt disappointed nonetheless.

See, Brittany wanted to make angel food cake. We’ve made it before (wow, that was almost exactly a year ago!), and it was delightful. Except now, I’ve exclusively baked gluten-free for months. There is no wheat flour in my kitchen. And yet, I went into my first-time-ever gluten-free angel food cake with nary a worry. I didn’t opt to follow my gluten-filled recipe and simply sub alternative flours. I found another cake recipe, and arbitrarily substituted flours, not giving adequate thought to how the combinations would turn out.

And then WHAM! I was hit by a bummer of a cake. But it was more than that. It was a disappointment for Brittany. Oh, of course, we’ve all shared turns making less-than-stellar dishes in the kitchen. It’s part of experimenting, and it’s part of the cooking process. We all have to learn that lesson. Today, we did. (I just hate when I personally feel it had a lot to do with a few flour substitutions I made.)

We won’t let this experiment get us down, however. Brittany and I have already been talking about what we can change. We’re already talking about what will be wonderful to try next time. The reasons for our tenacity are many: Brittany wants to make a cake she can be proud of. (Well, so do I.) For me, I also want to achieve that goal I set for myself with any gluten-free dish: to provide a dish that is every bit as good (or better!) as a “gluten-y” recipe, sans gluten. But most importantly, I want to teach our children to cook in the kitchen. Sometimes, the two goals cannot be achieved in a single task, but we’ll keep on trying to reach both!

So, I will share the recipe with you, in case anyone happens to have opinions/suggestions on the subject. And to make things perfectly clear; I don’t hold the recipe creator accountable for the failure on our cake! (that had more to do with my errors and substitutions - besides, Gluten Free Mommy is awesome!) I do know one thing. Next time? No amaranth flour. (as my husband remarked, it makes the cake taste kind of like a dish towel!) But I would still like to work to make it fluffier and lighter, as it was rather dense. Still trying to work on how to accomplish that. Maybe I’ll revisit my old recipe, we’ll just have to see!

Gluten-Free Angel Food Cake, adapted from Gluten-Free Mommy

1 1/2 c granulated sugar

1/4 c sweet rice flour

1/4 c tapioca starch

1/4 c coconut flour

1/4 c amaranth flour

1 t xanthan gum

12 egg whites, room temperature

1 1/2 t cream of tartar

1/4 t salt

1 T vanilla extract

1/2 t almond extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and turn on. You will process the sugar until it becomes fine, nearly like powdered sugar. Separate egg whites in a stainless steel bowl and let them come to room temperature. In a separate medium bowl, sift gluten free flours, salt, xanthan gum, and 3/4 cup of of the sugar. Beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar. Beat until the egg whites form soft peaks. Beat in the other reserved 3/4 cup of sugar about 3 tablespoons at a time. Beat until stiff peaks form. Slowly fold in flour mixture about 1/4 cup at a time. Once the flour mixture is combined, fold in the vanilla and almond extract. Slowly pour the batter into a tube pan (preferably one where the inside lifts out) and spread the batter evenly. Run a knife through the cake to eliminate any air bubbles. Bake for 50-55 minutes until top is golden and sides begin to pull away. Cool for 10 minutes. Run the edges of a knife along the pan and pull out the insert to the tube pan. Run a knife along the bottom of the insert and invert onto a cake plate. Serve with topping of choice!