Posts tagged ‘gluten free’
The air is crisp, the leaves are changing colour, and squash is filling the stands at the Farmer’s Market. It is squash season. I am happy. By February, I will be over squash and craving fresh spring greens, but right now I am all about squash. Here is a quick and easy squash side dish we enjoyed this week and a couple photos from the pumpkin farm.
Little Butternut Squash Bakes
Hot and spicy from the chilli powder, sweet from the butternut squash, and a hint of salty, these little guys will wake up all of your taste buds. I created these little bakes because I wanted squash chilli but I like to slow cook my chilli and I didn’t have the time.
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and but into ½ inch squares
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400Fdegrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Toss the prepared squash, spices, salt and olive oil in a large bowl. Spread the seasoned squash on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, flip the squash and bake an additional 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
I have always loved horseradish. I have some growing in my garden, but I have it in a giant container and it isn’t doing too well. It will have to go in the new garden when it is ready. My root is quite young, so I bought some at that Farmer’s Market. Grating the horseradish will provide sinus relief if you happen to be suffering a cold.
- 1 generous cup of horseradish root, grated
- 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Mix together and eat on your favourite sandwich, with a bison roast, with your favourite burger, or even with roasted sweet potato fries. I keep this in the fridge for a week (if it lasts that long).
…someone peed in my cornflakes.
I am a realist. Some people call me a pessimist. I’m not. I’ve had this conversation with my friend Annie once. People thought she was a pessimist as well, but we concluded that we were realists. We are the type of people that do not put all of our eggs in one basket, we don’t hope for the best, we set our goals on what can realistically be achieved, and that is what keeps our lives and everything around us positive. We avoid conflict, but you’ll know when we are not happy. And most of all, when someone pees in our cornflakes, we sit quietly and busy ourselves with other projects – like I did today. I enjoyed the ballet and then I baked some seasonally divine gluten-free pumpkin muffins (and tried desperately to put the last two days behind me).
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (gluten-free)
I’ve recently switched to a gluten-free diet due to some health concerns; big ones. I’ll have to share these when they make more sense. Until then, you can enjoy some gluten-free recipes. I’ve made these muffins twice. Once with potato starch and once with arrowroot starch. I liked the arrowroot better, but play with them and let me know which ones you like better. If you are sensitive to gluten, make sure your chocolate chips and vanilla extract are gluten-free. If you can’t find sorghum flour use brown rice flour instead. Canned pumpkin may not be as moist as fresh pumpkin; you can always add a bit of unsweetened apple sauce if need be. Makes 12 muffins.
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup arrowroot starch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chia seed, ground
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice blend
- 1 cup pureed pumpkin (I used local fresh, steamed pumpkin)
- 1/4 cup organic coconut oil (melted)
- 3/4 cup organic palm sugar (or brown sugar if you must)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (the real stuff)
- 2 large organic free-range eggs
I couldn’t wait any longer. I had to see what what my potato plants were doing under the dirt. I dug some up on the weekend and ate them straight away. I scrubbed, sliced and steamed them and sauteed them in a little butter and onions.
This past weekend we hosted a tea party in our backyard for my daughter and 4 of her friends. We made tea party hats, tiny tea sandwiches, and the girls enjoyed drinking their tea (aka apple juice) in tea cups that they took home with them. Since it was a garden tea party, we also decorated clay flower pots and the girls took home their very own package of seeds and child-sized gardening gloves. And because every girl needs a fairy wand, I made some fairy wands, but we sent these home in the goodie bags; I had fears someone losing an eye – this was a healthy-high-energy group of girls. Here are some pictures from the big day.
Since the girls are still pretty young, I invited the parents to stay. To keep them refreshed I made a few summer plates of veggies, meats and cheese, and fruit. And keeping with the tea party theme, I made some seasonal iced-tea.
Strawberry Iced-tea (modified from Martha Stewart)
I modified this recipe from one of Martha Stewart’s creations. She called for basil and sugar in her recipe. I changed it up a bit by using spearmint since I have a huge crop growing in the yard. Next time I think I will swap out the sugar for sucanant or honey instead and dial back the amount a bit. I also doubled the recipe and it worked out just fine. You could probably use just about any berry in this tea, or even peaches when they are in season. I like mint, but I might try peach and basil next time with green or white tea. I used a giant pickle jar to make and serve the tea, but a large pitcher would work just fine too; I just don’t own one.
- 8 black-tea bags
- 2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved (quartered if large)
- 1 cup water, plus more for steeping
- 3/4 cup sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
- 1 cup fresh mint
- Ice, for serving
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add tea bags, and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and set aside.
Place strawberries in a large mason jar. Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, add mint, and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain over strawberries; discard mint. Toss to coat. Let stand until cool, about 25 minutes. Add the tea to the strawberries (with syrup) in the jar. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve over ice, and garnish with fresh mint.
Spring will come. Sigh. I wish it would hurry up, but until it does, I keep crafting, cooking and baking spring at our house. We made up these little cookies for the teacher’s at my daughter’s daycare as a little Easter treat last week. I used this recipe here, but I shaped them into nests before baking. Then we added a couple little candy coated chocolate eggs. These are a nice little Easter treat or a springtime treat (especially when spring doesn’t seem to want to grace us with her presence).
Last week we visited the sugar bush. This inspired me to cook everything with maple syrup, which means that this week’s make it Monday is all about maple syrup. First, a few things I learned at the sugar bush:
- It takes 50 to 60 years before you can tap a maple tree. This means that even if I started now, I’m too late. I would have to buy a sugar bush; I cannot create my own. Sigh… I guess I will have to keep bees and make honey instead (more on that later)
- To have a viable maple syrup bush (and a small one at that) you need to have at least 1000 tapped trees.
- The sweetness of the sap from each tree can be tested (sign me up!) so that you can selectively cut trees down so that new trees can establish themselves. Maple trees need light to grow and will not grow under the canopy of other trees so to keep things healthy you have to cut some down every now and again.
- You have to check the buckets every day – think how fit you would be checking a minimum of 1000 buckets! You could eat more pancakes (with maple syrup of course!)
I borrowed The Maple Syrup Book from the local public library. The edition I have dates back to 1983, but it is full of factual information, recipes, crafts and activities. However, the best education is to visit your local sugar bush or plan a family trip to a country that has one. Your taste buds won’t be disappointed!
I’ve made a lot using maple syrup this week and I will post a few of the recipes over time, but I wanted to share this particular experiment with you because it is one of those recipes that I absorbed from my childhood; kind of like this one. Although, this maple recipe, I’m sure is learned from my dad’s annual peanut brittle making at Christmas time.
I scoured the internet to learn to make these and when I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I simple did what I thought I should be doing: bring the maple syrup to hardball. Pure and simple. You will need a candy thermometer for this recipe.
Butter or line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Carefully butter the first inch from the top of a medium saucepan. This will prevent the maple syrup from bubbling over the pot. Add the maple syrup to the pot and carefully monitoring the temperature of the syrup while boiling it over medium to high heat. As soon as the temperature reaches 260F degrees (hardball) remove the maple syrup from the heat and allow it to cool for a about five minutes. Carefully spoon the maple syrup into circle shapes on the prepared baking sheet. Place a lollipop stick in each lollipop and allow to cool completely. That’s it.