Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Something wanted in!

This is my newest compost bin - purchased late last fall right before the snow came.  It sure looks like something wanted in the bin this winter!  Wonder what kind of critter it was. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The 2014 growing season has begun!


There might still be snow outside but the kid and I were anxious to begin gardening.  He is so much more helpful now than he was when he was little.  His tags might be hard for some to decipher but I can read them so I'm not going to complain. 

Today we planted Roma tomatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Sweet Bell Peppers, Hot Pepper and Mini Sweet Bell Peppers.  Can't wait for them to sprout!

Friday, October 04, 2013

GFCF Apple Streusel Bread



I made this last night - it is all gone already and my family is begging me to make it again.  It reminds me of my childhood in the early 1960s when my Mom would have Coffee Klatches with the neighbor ladies.  Sweet breads like this and coffee were the perfect combination while the women caught each other up on neighborhood news. 

If you are not gluten free - just substitute regular flour and omit the xanthan gum from the recipe. 

Enjoy!



Gluten and Casein Free Apple Streusel Bread
Chop up 2 apples, set aside

Combine in a small bowl:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon. 
Mix with chopped apples and set aside.
Beat in a medium bowl:
2/3 cup sugar (use more if you want a sweeter bread)
½ cup coconut oil (or use butter or margarine)

Beat in 2 eggs, one at a time.

Stir in 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
Stir in:
1 ½ cups gluten free flour mix
½ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using a flour mix that contains it)
2 teaspoons baking powder

Dough will be stiff

Beat in ½ cup vanilla almond milk (or any milk or milk substitute) until smooth.

Pour half of the batter in a well-greased 9 x 5 loaf pan.

Add half of the apple mixture.

Top with the rest of the batter and then the rest of the apple mixture on top.  Pat top apples down into batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Monday, September 30, 2013

Apple Pie Bars


Another use for Apples!  These are so good.  I made these using fresh apples (since I have so many right now) but they would be equally as good made using my apple pie filling.  This would be good to take to a pot luck. 

As usual this recipe is gluten and dairy free - just substitute regular flour and omit the xanthan gum and use real milk and butter if you prefer. 

This is one recipe that may have a lot of steps but it won't disappoint.

Gluten and Casein Free Apple Pie Bars
In a small bowl:
Beat 1 egg yolk (save the white – it will be used later)
Add ½ cup vanilla almond milk and mix well.

In a medium bowl:
Combine:
2 ¾ cup gluten free flour mix
½ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using a flour mix that already contains it)
1 teaspoon sea salt
Cut in 1 cup of your preferred butter substitute – I used earth balance spread.

When mixture looks like coarse crumbs, stir in egg/milk mixture and mix until it forms a ball.  
Divide dough in half.  

For filling:
Chop up 6 cups of apples. 
In a small bowl:
Combine 1 cup sugar (you know I prefer raw organic but any sugar will work) with  6 teaspoons minute tapioca, 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon and ½ teaspoon nutmeg. 
Pour over apples and mix.
easpoon nutmeg. 
Pour over apples and mix.up so the filling sticks up sugar (you know I prefer raw organic but any sugar will

Roll one half out between two layers of plastic wrap (wet the counter before putting down the first piece of plastic wrap so it sticks to the counter and doesn’t move while you are rolling.  Roll out to fit in the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch baking pan. 

Pull top layer of plastic wrap off dough and invert into pan.  Cut and trim so dough perfectly covers the bottom and doesn’t go up the sides.

Pour apple filling over bottom layer of dough.

Roll out the rest of the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to fit on the top of the apples – it will be slightly larger than the first sheet was.  Pull top layer of plastic wrap off and invert over the top.  Trim to fit perfectly on top.

In another small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sugar with ½ teaspoon cinnamon. 

Beat reserved egg white with a fork until foamy.  Brush over the top crust (you probably won’t use all of the egg white – just make sure you have covered the entire top crust).th a fork until foamy.  Brush over the top crust (you probably wo'im to fit perf  Sprinkle sugar/cinnamon mixture over top crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for about one hour (check after 45 minutes) or until nicely browned and you see juices bubbling. 

Note – this dough can be hard to handle – rolling it between plastic wrap makes the dough easier to handle and easier to move to the baking dish.   Using dairy substitutes may give you differenn egg/milk mixture and mix until it forms a ball.  If


Friday, September 27, 2013

Apples, apples, and even more apples!

The tree is loaded - it doesn't even look like I've picked any - but believe me, I have!

The dehydrator is full of apple slices (and diced apples and apple rings)

I have lots of apple juice waiting to be made into jelly!

I have dozens of jars full of dried apples!

I've also been baking with them - check out these great apple fritters I made last night.  They were a big hit in my household.  I'll post my recipe below - if you aren't gluten and dairy free like my family just substitute regular flour and omit the xanthan gum and use regular milk. 

Gluten and Casein Free Apple Fritters

2 large (or 3 medium or 4 small) tart apples, peeled and diced

Combine in a medium bowl:
2 cups gluten free flour mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using a flour blend that includes it)
¾ cup raw organic sugar (use white sugar if you must but it won’t be as healthy)
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt (again use regular salt but it won’t be as healthy)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Combine in a small bowl:
2 large eggs,  beaten
¾ cup vanilla almond milk (or use the milk or milk substitute of your choice)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons coconut oil melted if solid (or use the melted butter substitute of your choice)

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined – do not over mix!

Gently fold in the apples – you want tons of apples to poke out – if they don’t poke out – add more apples. 

Drop a teaspoon full into hot oil (I use a fryer but you could also heat a couple of inches of oil in a cast iron or heavy duty frying pan).  Turn it over when it browns on one side.   Drain on paper towels – cut the first one open and make sure it cooked all the way through – if you still have batter in the middle, make the rest smaller – if it is cooked through, then you are good to finish the batch with that size. 

I think these are perfect as is – but you can dust with powdered sugar when warm or pour a light glaze over them. 



Sunday, September 08, 2013

Homemade Granola Take Two

The first batch of granola is already gone.  My teenager ate the last of it up today.  It was so good that I made another batch right away. 

I didn't mess with the recipe though - it was perfect.  The only thing I changed was I used a mixture of dried fruit instead of just plums.  I used dried raspberries, strawberries and plums. 

The recipe is here if you don't want to go looking for it.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Home Made Granola!

Home made granola is so versatile - you can add whatever you want.  Don't like cinnamon?  Leave it out - love it - put extra in.  I have been drying diced plums like crazy the past two weeks and wanted to use some in granola. 

Here is my recipe  - feel free to change it to suit your individual tastes.

Plum Granola

Mix in large bowl:
4 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup oat bran
3/4 raw sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cups chopped raw almonds

Mix in small saucepan and bring to a boil:
1 cup maple syrup (the real stuff from trees)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla

After mixture comes to a boil, turn it off and pour it over the oat mixture in bowl.  Mix thoroughly. 

Place on cookie sheets or baking pans lined with parchment paper. 

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes depending on how thick your layers are.  Stir every 5 to 10 minutes.  Watch it closely.  It can go from almost perfect to burned in just a few minutes.  It is done when it is lightly toasted. 

Remove from pans and mix in 1 1/2 cups dried plums.  Cool and store in an airtight jar. 

Makes about 10 cups!