Sunday, July 27, 2014

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits




I have been making my own lard and loving every single recipe that I use it in.  I have a how-to coming out soon for making lard at home.  I am using more buttermilk in my gluten free recipes as I have noticed the recipes are turning out a bit better than if I use plain milk.

These biscuits were one of the first things I tried with the lard.  I can't say enough how delicious these are.  They are soft, airy, crisp on the underside, buttery and taste like a real biscuit.  My family cannot get enough.  In fact, I usually make two batches.  I have never doubled the recipe--I just make two separate batches.

I bought this cute cast iron cornbread/scone pan and used it to make the biscuits.  The biscuits are a drop style and so they will spread out a bit if not contained inside of a form.  This is why I used this cast iron pan to make the biscuits a little thicker.  Either way they taste great. The use of this pan is more for appearance purposes than flavor or texture. See below.


I asked my hubby to help me hold a few biscuits.  In the process I think he ate three.  I hope from the two pictures below that you can see how soft and fluffy they are.

I have made these many different ways:  as a drop biscuit, in a cast iron corn pan, muffin pan and dropped close together into a large baking dish for pull apart biscuits.  Each time they have turned out the same: airy on the inside with a nice bite on the outside.

Let me know what you think.  I will be experimenting on some fun recipes with this biscuit recipe as the base.

Enjoy!



I am finding that the recipes are more consistent when I give measurements in volume (grams). I recommend a scale for your kitchen.  I have also listed a cup size but it is just an estimate as each time you measure a 1/2 cup the weight may be off a bit.  This has a huge impact on gluten free recipes.  To be sure that the recipe turns out every single time, weighing the ingredients is more accurate than measuring them.

Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits
Makes about 12 biscuits, it depends on the size of pan and spoonful

78 grams (1/2 cup) potato starch
68 grams (1/2 cup) millet flour
62 grams (1/2 cup) tapioca starch
82 grams (1/2 cup) white rice flour
4 teaspoons baking powder, make sure it's gluten free
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon guar gum
112 grams (4 tablespoons) lard 
220 grams (1 cup) buttermilk
73 grams (2) egg whites

1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients and sift once.  Sifting helps combine the dry ingredients and sifts out any clumps.

3.  Add the lard to the dry ingredients.  Use a pastry knife to cut in the lard.  The flour mixture should be crumbly.

4.  Mix the wet ingredients in a small bowl and beat a few times to incorporate the whites into the buttermilk.

5. Combine the wet and dry bowls. Use a spoon.  Do not use a mixer.  Stir until well combined and the texture changes from smooth and thick to very airy and fluffy.  About 1 minute worth of stirring.

6.  The dough will almost set--filled with little air bubbles.  This is what you want. Carefully spoon globs of the biscuit dough onto a cookie sheet.  Space them two inches apart--they will spread.  If using a shaped pan (like the cast iron one mentioned above) fill 3/4s of the way.

7.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Depends on each oven but they should just start to be brown on the edges.  Remove to a cookie wrack to cool for a few minutes.  Store leftovers in an airtight bag.  I have yet to have leftovers though.

**I used a muffin tin and this works really good to achieve the biscuit at the top.
Written by Sherron Watson

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Magic Bar Cookies #gluten free



Summer is half over. I can't believe how fast it has gone.  

We have been busy camping, working and spending as much time as possible with our kids. We are getting outside to hike, walk, bike ride, and go to the beach.   We recently took the girls to St. Michael's for the day.  The weather was perfect.

Since we are on the go so much it is nice to have a treat to take with us and these cookies work great in our backpack lunches.
 
I have been making these cookies all summer experimenting with different add-ins. I love a cookie that you can mix and match with.

This cookie is loved by my family because it is both crispy and soft. The edges of the cookie are crisp when you bite into it and the centers are soft.

I think it might be in my top 5 for favorite cookie.

Magic Bar Cookies #gluten free

Makes 22-25, depends on cookie scoop used

3/4 cup butter, softened (I used salted and it worked out just fine)
1 cup of Coconut Sugar (You can use 3/4 cup brown and 1/4 cup white sugar too)
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup of white rice flour, fine
1/2 cup tapioca starch (I use this brand )
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt, optional if using salted butter

Add ins:

1 cup of either gluten free rice crispy cereal OR gluten free ginger snaps (smashed coarsely)
1 cup of your favorite chips--peanut butter, butterscotch, chocolate or MIX them up
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut (I use this brand )

1.  Combine the sugar and butter, cream together until smooth.  Add the egg.  Add the vanilla.  

2.  Combine the dry ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk well.  Add dry ingredients to creamed butter mix and stir. (I use my Kitchen-aid with the paddle attachment but a bowl and wooden spoon works well too.)

3.  Add all or just a few of the add in ingredients.  I have played around with a lot of different substitutions with great success.  This is the combination that my kids like.  Fold in the ginger snap pieces, butterscotch and chocolate chips and coconut.

4.  Refrigerate cookie dough for one hour.  You don't have to do this but your cookies will come out a bit flatter than if you refrigerate the dough. I make them both ways and they still get eaten.

5.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Scoop cookies two inches apart and bake for 8-9 minutes.  Every oven is different so check the first batch.  They should be golden brown along the edges and lighter in color in the middle.  

6.  Let cookie rest for 5 minutes on tray and then remove to cookie rack to cool.  

7. Store in air tight container or freeze cookies for a later use. 



NOTE:  I shared a few links to the brands that I use through Amazon.  This is to help you see exactly what I use in my kitchen.  There is no obligation to purchase the products but if you do, I do make a small commission that helps pay for the food made on my blog.

Written by Sherron Watson

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Homemade Pasta #glutenfree


This recipe has been in the making for two years.  I have tried so many different versions of gluten free pasta made from scratch that I was about to get discouraged and quit.  In fact, there were a few months that I shed a tear out of frustration because of the ingredients I wasted.

I can say that this recipe is tested.  I have made it so many times fearing that each time something would go wrong. It hasn't yet.  It comes together in my Kitchenaid just like my pasta doughs made with wheat flour.  It rest for 30 minutes, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, just like my wheat based pasta doughs.  It works in my pasta machine. 

Simply put--it works.

Taste great.

Kids love it.

I won't go on and on about the pasta other than to say it is the closest "gluten free" pasta to the real thing, that I have had and is freshly made. I have my favorite store brands that I will continue to buy. I don't always have the time or energy to make pasta from scratch. That is not the point. The point is now I have one that I trust will work for my family and our taste buds. I can check one more thing off of my list of can't haves.
 
I love to make pasta from scratch and I missed the process.  Really, Really missed the process.  In our family it is a family affair.  The kids are involved in rolling, making and cooking their dishes.  Now I feel I have brought a family tradition back into our home.

Gluten free anything is going to be a bit different from the original.  Please keep this in mind and don't get frustrated if it doesn't turn out the first time.  Mine didn't.   There are variables that play into any recipe: ingredients, humidity, equipment used and our own experience with cooking.  

I will gladly answer any questions that you may have for this recipe.  Leave a comment below.

UPDATE: 7-23-2014 I wanted to let everyone know that last night I wrapped my left over pasta dough and refrigerated it until today.  I took it out an hour before I wanted to use it and brought it to room temperature.  It was perfect!  I actually used my large rolling pin and pizza cutter to create some fun noodles for the Littles--Isabella and Finnley.  


I have tried my best to provide a lot of pictures for you to visually see each step.  This recipe is pretty sturdy compared to some I tested but you still need to treat it gently.  Don't push the pasta too far. What I mean by that is don't over cook it, don't try one more roll through the pasta machine.  I did all of that and absorbed the disappointments so that you won't have to do it. 

Two things to note.  Depending on what you decide to make with the pasta dough, it needs to be fully cooked.  Unlike our wheat pasta cousins that take a dip in boiling water and jump right back out this is not like that.  You will get a bite, but it won't taste good.  The pasta noodles need to boil for 3-4 minutes.  Test, test, test to see where you palate likes the noodle to be.  I liked mine to be fully cooked.

Secondly, you can reuse the pasta dough but it needs to rest for a few minutes.  I am mostly referring to the use of the dough to make stuffed pastas.  Often I will have scraps from my ravioli tray.  In this situation, I ball them up and wrap them in plastic wrap and set them off to the side.  It needs time to rest or the dough will be dry.  Working the dough may help but I found that patients was my friend for the second round of using the leftover dough pieces.  This won't apply if making spaghetti  or any other noodle because you will use all of the dough the first time.



If you don't need a gluten free version, I have two other recipes that my family enjoyed the years before I went gluten free.

Regular recipes are: Spinach Pasta Dough and Pasta Dough

Check back because I will be sharing our gluten free stuffed pasta recipes soon. 




Homemade Pasta #glutenfree


Makes one large ball of pasta--feeds my family of 6 or makes 75 raviolis using a tray

All pictures are following the recipe.  I did this to keep it simple for those that don't need the step by step pictures.  I have used a variety of substitutions with this recipe and THIS is the one that works.  I cannot guarantee it will turn out if you start substituting something else.  You need a scale for this to turn out perfect each time.  I use this Food Scale at home.  The estimated cup measurements are just that, estimated.  


166 g (1 cup) white rice flour, fine
70 g (1/2 cup) millet flour

50 g (1/3 cup) potato starch
50 g (1/3 cup) tapioca starch
3 teaspoons Guar Gum 
pinch of salt
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons water, as needed


1.  In a kitchen stand mixer, add all dry ingredients.  Use the whisk attachment and turn mixer to low. Mix dry ingredients well.

2.  Stop mixer  and change to the bread hook. Add eggs and oil. Continue to mix on low speed.  The dough will be dry.  Add one tablespoon of water at a time until the dough starts to pull together and form a ball.  If dough gets too wet, don't panic, add a sprinkle of rice flour to bring it back to ball form.

3.  Turn mixer to medium high and work dough for 2 minutes.  Remove dough and tightly wrap in plastic wrap. Let set for 30 minutes on the counter.

4.  Start a pot of water with salt on stove top.  Bring to a rapid boil.

5.  After dough has rested.  Open plastic wrap and cut into 4 pieces.  Take one piece and rewrap the remaining three.  Dust your area with potato starch and flatten the piece to about 1/4 inch.

AT THIS POINT YOU NEED A LARGE ROLLING PIN TO ROLL DOUGH OUT OR A Pasta Maker .  I have shared the link to the brand I use.  I also have the spaghetti attachment.

6.  Lightly dust your dough with potato starch. Too much and it will not go through the machine.  Start your machine at 0 and work you way up to 4 or 5.  The thinner you go the better but again, don't push it.  The dough will tell you how much it can take. If it starts to stick or tear--then you have rolled it too thin.

7.  Place long pieces of thin dough to dry on counter for 2 minutes.  Change the handle and roll your dough through the desired pasta attachment: spaghetti, fettucini, etc... 

8.  Gently pick up pasta pieces and add to boiling water. Stir them once.  Cook for 2-4 minutes depending on size of noodle.  Thicker noodles require more time.

9.  Remove with slotted spoon and serve with your favorite sauce.  My personal favorite: brown butter and parmesan cheese.

PICTURES BELOW
















Written by Sherron

NOTE:  There are links to my Amazon store to show you specifically which products I use at home.  There is no obligation to purchase these items through me.  I do make a small percentage off of each sale that helps pay for ingredients used on the blog.   Thank you!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sweet and Tangy Blueberry BBQ Chicken Pizza #SundaySupper



We have an abundance of blueberries at our home. I have been buying them left and right trying to stock our freezer for the winter months that are sure to be here before I know it.  The blueberries add great color, sweetness and a touch of flavor to this fun BBQ sauce.

I have always been a fan of BBQ Chicken Pizza.  My family, on the other hand, not so much.  Well, sometimes I decide to make it anyways and they can eat it or leave it.  I guess I was having a mean Mom moment.

I made it and they ate it.  I loved my version of Blueberry BBQ sauce.  It is sweet and tangy, just like I like my BBQ sauce to be.  The blueberry is subtle but it adds great color to the sauce.  To enhance the blueberry flavor, I tossed some fresh blueberries on the pizza.  This made for a gorgeous presentation. I even got an "ooh-ahhh" from the kids.  I like that.

The Blueberry BBQ Sauce recipe will make more than you need but I can tell you that added to some chicken sliders is a great way to use the left over sauce.  

You are in for a real treat with this weeks Sunday Supper recipes because they are all BBQ related.  Scroll to the bottom of this post and you will find links to each one.



I recently shared our gluten free pizza crust that is also featured in the pictures that are posted in this post.   If you need a gluten free pizza recipe I would suggest you give this one a try.  The recipe can be found here with step by step pictures.



Sweet and Tangy Blueberry BBQ Chicken Pizza
Makes one pizza

1 pizza crust (homemade or store bought) (gluten free version here)
1 batch of Blueberry BBQ Sauce (recipe to follow)
2 cups of cooked chicken pieces
2 cups of mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 handful of arugula leaves
1/2 cup fresh blueberries, add more if you want

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1.  Pre-bake pizza crust for 6-8 minutes.

2.  Remove from oven and add BBQ sauce, cheese, chicken pieces, blueberries and arugula.  Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted--about 10 more minutes.

3.  Slice and Serve.  Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Blueberry BBQ Sauce
Makes about 2 cups, you will have leftovers

1 cup fresh blueberries
1 1/4 cups ketchup
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon jalapeno-garlic oil (optional)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 tablespoons minced red onion

1.  Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan.  Turn heat to medium and bring to a boil. Using a potato masher or back of a spoon, mash blueberries into sauce.  You should still see pieces of blueberry just not whole berries.

2.  Turn heat down to low and let simmer for 30 minutes to thicken.  Depending on stovetops, it may take more or less time to achieve the desired thickness.  It will also thicken as it sits in the refrigerator if you do not use it right away.

3.  Store leftover sauce in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Beverages
Appetizers
Sides and Accompaniments
Main Dishes
Desserts
Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.Written by Sherron Watson

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Gluten Free Buttermilk Pizza Crust


This is our families favorite pizza crust recipe.  I have been supplementing buttermilk for most of the recipes that call for "milk" and find that it works better in gluten free baking.  I think the extra fat may help with  developing the dough.  Of course, I am going to recommend that you buy the best buttermilk you can find.  I get ours from a local dairy in a small glass bottle.  It is light yellow because the cows are grass fed.   Notice the pizza crust is tinged with a yellow hue--that is in part from the buttermilk and also using millet.  This flour is a light yellow.

Millet is a wonderful grain.  It has the best flavor and performs beyond expectation in my gluten free baked goods.  You will notice I use it all the time.  I find that it adds the right amount of flavor to trick my friends and family into thinking they are eating something "wheat-filled".  Let me know if you have had the same experience.

This pizza crust is not hard to make.  If you have not worked with gluten free bread doughs before then you are in a for a treat.  It is different but I have included some pictures below to help you bake your first pizza crust.  The dough needs to be wet so that it has enough water to work with the flours. It is a bit technical but if the dough is too dry then you get dry products.  We don't want that!


I make this dough on a pizza stone.  I find that the outer crust is crispy and the pizza crust is soft in the middle.  My husband said it reminded him of the boxed pizza crust you get at the store and make at home.  This is not a bad thing.  It is just a good example of what the texture will be like.  

This recipe makes one large pizza (12 inches) or you can make individual pizzas.  Just cut the parchment paper to the size that you need and spread the dough out.  The thicker you have it the thicker the crust will be.  I made sure mine was a little more than 1/4 inch thick and it swelled up to what you see in the picture.  You may need to play around with it to see which thickness you like.

I made this blueberry BBQ sauce and chicken pizza for my family.  The reason I chose to make this pizza with this sauce is because the sauce is wet.  I wanted to see if the crust would hold up.  I am quite pleased to say that it did.  The BBQ sauce recipe will be up soon--look for it!

Final thought:  buy a scale!  I am making more and more of my recipes by volume.  To guarantee that each recipe turns out the same each time I must cook this way.  It is so much easier to bake with a scale than with 5 different measuring cups.  I use one bowl, a scale and bam--it's done.  Really easy!

I will have the estimated cups listed next to the recipe for those that do not have a scale but, again, I am encouraging you to invest in this very useful kitchen tool.

This delicious Blueberry BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe will be out on Sunday--be sure to check back!


Gluten Free Buttermilk Pizza Crust


Makes one crust

160 grams (1 cup) white rice flour
76 grams (1/2 cup) millet flour
56 grams (1/2 cup) tapioca starch
20 grams (1/4 cup) potato starch
1 teaspoon guar gum
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
133 grams (1/2 cup) buttermilk + a 2 teaspoons (if needed)
1 teaspoon vinegar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

1.  Combine the dry ingredients into a medium bowl.  Sift once.  Sifting helps to mix the ingredients and to find any clumps in the flours and starches.

2.  In a small bowl combine the wet ingredients.

3.  I use my KitchenAid stand mixer to mix the dough.  Add the dry and the wet to the stand mixer and attache the paddle tool.  Start on low and mix dough, once it is mixed, increase speed to medium for 5 minutes.  Dough should look stretchy--like a thick cake batter.

4.  This is best made on parchment paper.  If you don't have any, then get the pan that you will bake the crust on and spread with a light sprinkling of corn meal.  See picture below.  Pour dough into the middle of the paper or pan.


5.  Take a plastic spatula and spread dough to desired thickness and size.  You can also make individual sized pizzas.  See picture below.


6.  See picture to know how I spread mine.  This was the final product.


 7.  Bake just the crust for 8 minutes.  See picture at the top.  Add sauce, cheese and ingredients and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven.  The pizza should slide off of the parchment paper.  I remove the parchment paper so that the crust can sit directly on my pizza stone and dry up any sauce that may have ran over the sides.

8.  Slice and serve.  Store left overs in the refrigerator.




Written by Sherron Watson

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tomato Citrus Jam



I have been dying to make some tomato jam.  My family is a huge fan of tomatoes.  I found a recipe and experimented with the flavors a bit and decided that I really liked my version better.  

I added cinnamon, orange zest and orange pulp.  The orange added a unique citrus flavor profile.  I used the tomato jam as a condiment to our grilled cheese sandwiches.  The pictures show our favorite, open faced grilled cheese sandwiches.

I found the longer it sat in the refrigerator the more developed the jam became.  Although, it did not last that long because I could not stop eating it, maybe four or five days.



Tomato Citrus Jam
Makes roughly 1 cup of jam

1 1/2 pounds ripe Roma tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 8)
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/2 orange, pulp and juice only
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper (optional)


1.  To remove the skin from the tomatoes, bring a pot of water to a boil.  Cut an X on the top of each tomato and add to boiling water.  After one minute, remove and let cool for a minute or two.   The skin should peel easily in your hands. Cut tomatoes into medium sized pieces.

2.  Add the tomatoes and remaining ingredients to a medium sauce pan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Stirring often to prevent jam from burning.  Once jam has boiled for one minute, reduce heat to a simmer and let jam thicken.  Again, stir it every once in a while. The jam should take about an hour to reduce and thicken up.

3.  Remove from heat, taste and adjust seasonings.  Store in refrigerator.  Good for two weeks.



Written by Sherron Watson



Sunday, July 13, 2014

No Bake Caramel Apple Pie Cheesecake




The hot weather has finally arrived in Maryland and I am trying some new no bake desserts on my family. They love cheesecake and this is a recipe that I shared with Capital Style Magazine in May.  

This is one of those recipes that you can easily replace the apple pie filling for any pie filling or fruit filling your family would like.  The caramel sauce on top can also be left off or switched for something else.

I take these camping with us because I can make them at home and keep them in the cooler. They stack great in the bottom of our cooler.  I can use the jars to store leftovers in from dinner.   Its a fun dessert to surprise the kids with when they are tired and need an energy boost from hiking and playing.  

Using the jelly jars makes them a great individual sized dessert too.  You will find that I love to make dishes that can be individualized for my guest and friends. 



No Bake Caramel Apple Pie Cheesecake


Makes 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes

4-8oz jelly jars with lids

1-8oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup of sugar
2 cups of whipped cream or dessert topping
1 cup crushed Graham Crackers (or use gluten free ginger snaps too)
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1-21oz can of apple pie topping (use homemade as an option)
1 small jar Caramel Ice Cream topping (make caramel from scratch as an option)

1.  In a medium bowl combine cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice and sugar.  Combine until sugar is no longer grainy. Add whipped cream to cream cheese mix and fold in gently.  Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

2.  In a small bowl combine crushed graham crackers and butter.

3.  Divide the graham cracker mixture equally between the 4 jelly jars.  Use something with a flat surface to push down the crumbs to form a crust.

4.  Add a 1/4+ cup of cheesecake mixture to each jar leaving a small amount for a second layer.

5.  Add apple pie topping.  Leave enough room to add second layer of cheesecake filling and caramel sauce.

6.  Add second layer of cheesecake.

7.  Add caramel sauce.

8.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.



Written by Sherron Watson
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