Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blackberry Dumplings

Berries are a staple in our freezer. I love to rescue over ripe berries knowing that this winter we will greatly appreciate their extra sweet flavor in muffins, breads, pancakes, and smoothies.

I recently scored an excellent sale on blackberries. Almost every week for the past month now I have been able to bless my family with fresh overloaded blackberry muffins or warmed to pour over top of pancakes. Today while I was at the grocer I found strawberries 10 clam shells for $10. There are now 10 containers in my freezer and 5 in my fridge to nibble!

The Gluten-Free Gourmet by Bette Hagman has a recipe for blackberry dumplings that has made me drooling to try. The recipe is simple to follow. As per usual I made a few changes! I mixed strawberries in with the blackberries. I found that the finished product was way too sweet. I used coconut instead of cream.

Once again Bette delivered. I must admit that I had my doubts for the dumplings but they were wonderful! They did not cook up like say a chicken dumpling would. So do not be surprised if they do not raise very high.
I hope that you will be adding this recipe to your yummy list. :0)
Happy cooking!

Blackberry Dumplings

1 quart of fresh or frozen berries
1 C of water to barely cover berries
1 1/2 C of sugar or to taste
1 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp earth balance
1 egg
1/3 C almond milk
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 C brown rice flour
1/3 C potato starch (NOT FLOUR)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Place the berries, sugar and lemon juice in a 4-quart pan. Bring to a gentle boil while making dumplings.

In a separate bowl mix almond milk and lemon juice together. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes allowing the milk to have a souring effect.

In a mixing bowl cream sugar and shortening. Add egg slightly beaten. Alternating with the almond milk add sifted dry ingredients. Do not over beat. The dough will be fairly stiff.

Drop 8 small teaspoons of dough on top of the boiling fruit sauce. Cover, simmering for 20 minutes without peeking!

Serve hot in small bowls with fruit sauce spooned over dumpling. Top with cream, whipped cream or ice cream. Makes 8 servings. Enjoy!

Sponge cake

I grew up in wonderful small town middle class neighborhood where all the kids knew each other and no one had to be home till dark. Summer nights were spent catching fireflies or playing spot light. As children long hot summer days were spent exploring the beautiful hills that surround us, playing kickball, or hanging out at each others home. Everyone knew everyone so the children came and went as they pleased. Fathers Day was no different.

Sadly I do not have special memories to recall for Fathers Day. Most likely my step-father watched cow pasture pool (aka golf) all afternoon while sipping ice cold beer. Later Mom would make dinner and we would eat around 8 or 9pm. End of story.

So when darling and I starting having a family I wanted Father's Day to be special for him. To make him feel like a King in return for the ultimate gifts he had given me, our children. I think it is safe to say we have succeeded thus far. Every Father Day is celebrated with his favorite things in mind. He might never say it but I know he has loved this day because there were no crazy schedules, errands to run, Dr. or therapy appointments. Us just being with him.

This year he made a simple request for his special day. No picnic at the beach or the lake. No well planned out dinner followed with gifts. No plans~ just to hang out. If it is sunny, we go to the pool. Rain we snuggle up and watch a movie. To just go with the flow. Dinner for all he cared could be sandwiches!

So that is exactly how we spent the day. Just hanging out. Darling spent time with each of the children on their own. He took a nap and went to the sauna. While darling was pampering himself the girls and I cooked salmon I had secretly stashed away for the day.

I had been wanting to try this recipe for sponge cake ever since I stumbled up this blog.  The recipe was simple. The directions were well layed out. We did make a few changes to the Kate's recipe. Some were planned and some not so! I used mixed berry soy yogurt rather than the recommend filling and dollop of strawberry soy yogurt on the side. These changes made the recipe casein free. The one unplanned change happened by accident. The oldest misread the ingredients adding 2 tablespoons of lemon extract. Oops! So the vanilla and almond extract were omitted. The end result was a yummy lemon sponge cake topped with warm blackberries. Oh my golly was it good!

The sky is the limit with this very versatile cake. We will definitely be make it again and again. Please share how you liked the sponge cake and if you make any change.
Happy eating!

Gluten Free Easy Sponge Cake


8 eggs, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup potato starch (NOT flour!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons GF vanilla extract
1 teaspoon GF lemon extract
1 teaspoon GF almond extract


freshly whipped cream
fresh fruit (strawberries and blueberries)
powdered sugar (for dusting)


1.Separate the egg whites and the yolks.

2.Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and set aside.

3.Beat the egg yolks until light yellow and creamy – about 2 – 3 minutes)

4.Sift together powdered sugar, potato starch (not flour!) and salt.

5.Add sifted dry ingredients to the beaten egg yolks and mix thoroughly.

6.Add the extracts. Mix again.

7.Using a spatula or spoon (not your mixer!), gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

8.Preheat the oven to 325F.

9.Line a jelly roll pan or a full sized cookie sheet pan with parchment or wax paper.

10.Gently smooth the cake batter out to the length of your pan with even depth. 

11.Bake the cake for 15 minutes then turn off the oven and open the oven door. (I open the oven by cracking it open about 2-3 inches.)

12.Leave the cake to cool in the oven for 5-8 minutes.

13.Remove from oven and cool.

14.Gently lift the cooled cake up off the parchment paper just to loosen it from the paper. Lay the cake back down on to the paper. You will use the parchment to help you roll the cake.

15.Top with freshly whipped cream and fresh fruit slices.
16.Have a piece of fresh paper the length of your cake OR a serving platter that fits nearby. Use the parchment paper to help you roll the cake. (I roll it so I have LONG rather than rolling the short end and have a HUGE rolled cake.)

17.Lay the cake on the fresh parchment or on your serving platter. Gently lay a few pieces of fruit on top and dust with powdered sugar.

18.Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Udi's Bread~Can you say yum?!

There is no other way to describe GFCF bread, yuck! The texture is dry and hard. When you make toast you will need to get out the chain saw to cut the brick into slices. Oh and heaven forbid if it is over toasted someone might mistake it for a giant crouton!

Recently we attended Manna Mills GF open house. I was introduced to sooo many new GFCF products. They had a ton of samples. One of these was the most heavenly bread I had ever tasted. Udi's was light, airy, and tasted like homemade if you can believe it! I would not let the youngest sample till I knew for sure it was GFCF. I though that maybe this was a regular bread and accidently mixed up with the GFCF. The clerk reassured me. She then preceeded to tell me there are other products too! To the tune of dbl chocolate muffins, blueberry muffins and bagels.
          I snatched up a loaf and was so excited that the youngest could have peanut butter sandwiches for lunch again! Sticker shock got me the best of me when I went I checked out ~$5.50! For one loaf of bread? Is this some mistake?  Unfortunaltey there was not. I carefully carried the loaf of bread to the van and drove it home. When I arrived home I proceeded to announce that NO ONE eats this bread without permisson! My husband looked at me like I was nuts and the older daughter rolled her eyes.
          Later in the evening when crowd control was no longer needed, I looked up the Udi's website to check out this golden child bread. I found that there were even more products than what Manna Mills offered! But still extremely pricey. 4 muffins for $6~jenkies. I tried to justify the buffed price~ for instance, if you purchase a muffin at the grocery or bakery they are around $2 dollars each. Truthfully, I still had a hard time try to convience myself that $6 was NOT too much but it was not working. Sorry kids no $6 muffins for you!
           I am one of those grocery shoppers who shops at at least  3 different stores for our groceries: PCC, QFC, Fred Myers, and Manna Mills. I price compared and found that I could order a case of bread from Manna Mills. In doing so I was saving shipping plus received 10% off. That equals a loaf of free bread per case. I am all about saving money any chance I can!
Happy eating!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Crispy Quinoa Cookies

My oldest daughter is a wonderful cook. Her vegetarian dishes are delightful. Since she came out to stay with us I have learned so much from her in so many ways including cooking! I thought it was suppose to be the other way around.

Our youngest daughter aspires to be a chef. She loves to help in the kitchen or create her own yummy dishes. The girls love to cook together and they do a great job.

For the last week the oldest had wanted to try a new cookie recipe for days and of course the youngest wanted to help! The outcome was these yummy cookies. Evidently I was not the only one who thought they were yummy because they were gone in flash!

I do need to warn you not to taste the batter otherwise you will not bake them and eat the dough! The cookies will be very delicate and crumbly. I think the next time we make them we will use brown rice flour rather than sweet white rice flour. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. :0)
Happy eating!

Crispy Quinoa Cookies

1/2 C agave
1/3 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter
1/2 C peanut butter (used half smooth, half chunky)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 C rice flour
3/4 C quinoa flakes
1 Tbsp flax seed
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat agave, brown sugar, butter, vanilla and peanut butter until creamy.
Combine flour, flakes, flax seed, soda in a small bowl. Add to mixture beating until well blended. Drop by rolled teaspoonful about 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes  or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute before removing from cookie sheet. Yields about 3 dozen cookies.