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Better Batter Pancakes – Gluten free and Yummy

It’s Friday morning…I’m hungry…and only the rib-sticking effect of pancakes will do! I have been wanting to try the Better Batter Gluten Free Pancake/Biscuit Mix we carry in the store…today was the day. The recipe on the box (for 6 pancakes) calls for 1 cup mix, 1/2 to 1 cup milk (or water) and 1 egg or 2 Tbl egg substitute – we carry the Orgran Egg Replacer as well.  Better Batter Gluten Free Pancakes

These pancakes were really good…texture was lighter/airier (if that’s a word!) than many other non-allergen free mixes I have used in the past. My husband/official tester commented that they “were great” (verified quote!) We carry the 2.5 lb box and this should keep you and your family supplied with TONS of pancakes for those “Mom I’m Hungry Days” in the future.

(Product note- mix is processed on equipment that also processes diary, eggs, soy and tree nuts)

Try some of these on a lazy Saturday morning…and look like a star! Have a great weekend everyone!

Gluten Free Pasta and my favorite Kitchen Store

I LOVE Williams Sonoma! Okay, with that out of the way, I can admit to saving many of the recipes that come in their catalogs. I try most of them and if they don’t come out just perfect, I blame it on the fact that I didn’t have that exact cooking utensil that was called for!

On this particular occasion, my pick came out perfect. For the pasta, I used the Schar Tagliatelle Pasta we sell in the store. It is Gluten, Lactose, Cholesterol and Wheat Free. It really held up to this heavy sauce and tasted great.  The  Bolognese Sauce is from Williams Sonoma and I have included it below. If you don’t receive these catalogs, sign up….It’s great reading for all us Foodies! Hope you enjoy this…

Ingredients:                                                                                                              Schar Gluten Free Pasta

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 1/4 lb. each ground beef

1 1/4 lb. ground pork

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 oz. pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 yellow onion, finely diced

2 carrots, peeled and finely diced

1 celery stalk, finely diced

5 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup tomato paste

1 cup dry red wine

1 cup milk (or substitute)

2 cans (each 28 oz.) whole tomatoes, passed through a food mill

2 bay leaves

1 Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind (Iskipped this and didn’t miss the flavor)

1 lb. tagliatelle, cooked

Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving (or cheese substitute if needed – not “mission critical” since this is such a big tasting dish!)

Directions:

In the stovetop-safe insert of a slow cooker over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the ground beef, pork, salt and pepper and cook until browned, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the pancetta to the insert and cook until crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the ground meats, pancetta, milk, tomatoes, bay leaves, cheese rind, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.

Place the insert on the slow-cooker base. Cover and cook on high until the sauce thickens, about 3 1/2 hours. Discard the bay leaves and cheese rind. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Toss the pasta with about 3 cups sauce (reserve the remaining sauce for another use). Serve immediately and pass the grated cheese alongside. Makes 9 cups sauce.

Outrageous Gluten Free Brownies

Strong title for the most awesome brownies I have ever made! Like probably many of you out there…I LOVE the Food Network. I don’t have time to watch much, but they have a fantastic recipe search option on their website. I use it alot…from times when I have a few items in the fridge I don’t know what to do with…to menu planning for the week. This recipe I adapted from a Tyler Florence show. He is great!

Okay, this recipe of Tyler’s is called “Amaretto Chocolate Brownies with Walnuts”. I took the liberty in making a couple adjustments to pull it into the realm of gluten free eaters. They came out tasting like one of the molton cakes you have in restaurants…it was truly fantastic! Depending on your dietary restrictions, I URGE you to try this at home…you won’t be sorry!  Oh, the picture looks a little funky, still trying to emerge into the professional world of food photography! Enjoy!

2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for pan

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips ( I used Ghirardelli 60% Cacao chips) If you want less allergens, try Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour(I used Better Batter Gluten free All Purpose Flour)

1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten free)

Pinch salt

4 large eggs

2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur (I used a little more..or did all that go into the recipe?!)

1 1/2 cups walnuts

Powdered sugar, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a 9 by 9 square baking pan with parchment paper, making sure paper hangs over the edges. Grease paper with butter so the brownies don’t stick. Melt butter and chocolate over a double-boiler and stir gently until smooth and shiny. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl and set aside. Whisk together eggs, sugar and amaretto in a mixing bowl until combined. Pour in chocolate mixture and continue to whisk until combined. Gradually add flour mixture, then add walnuts and incorporate with a wooden spoon. Transfer batter to baking pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the pan. When done, invert onto a cutting board, remove paper and cut into squares. Garnish with powdered sugar and serve.

Notice that I tried to make “shamrocks” out of the powder sugar…don’t try this at home!  Gluten Free Brownies

Pizza with Schar

That’s pizza with Schar pizza crusts…not pizza with a czar! Okay, not funny…

We carry several Schar products in the store and I used two of them (suspense on when I’ll post the second one!)  These crusts come two to a box, individually vacuum-sealed. They are gluten and wheat free, soy-free, egg-free, as well as low in fat, saturated fat…and bonus, have no cholesterol or preservatives. Of course I added the cholesterol and fat back in with my toppings! These are an easy meal because they come right out of the box – no mixing or thawing- and then right onto the oven rack with your toppings added….snap!

Schar pizza crust

I got a little crazy with my toppings and almost ran out of room on the pizza crust. I used a jarred pizza sauce and then loaded up with artichoke hearts, spicy sausage and cheese…cheese…cheese. You can tell that they were a little “top heavy” and messy looking, but tasted fantastic. You can make it much simpler (read… less napkins required) by backing up on the amount of ingredients. These would be good with just a little pesto or even plain cheese. Pizzas are a fun way to express yourself and as you can see, I had a lot of expressing to do!  Schar pizza

Corn Bread from 123 Gluten Free

I was a “busy beaver” over the weekend and tried several new recipes. One of them was an Italian Beef Stew and to accompany this dish, I chose to make Corn Bread with a mix we carry in the store from 1-2-3 Gluten Free. This is one of our manufacturers who started their company after having to deal with finding gluten-free foods to accomodate their Celiac Disease. 1-2-3 Gluten Free makes some other great mixes – a Devil’s Food Cake Mix and the Southern Glory Biscuit Mix. All of their mixes are Free from Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Casein, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Sugar, Egg, Soy, Rice and Potatoes…whew, with all that’s missing, it’s amazing that they actually taste sooo good!

For the Southern Style Corn Bread mix I followed the package directions. Since I have no dairy restrictions, I used milk. The options are provided for using soy (milk substitute) and even making your own buttermilk ingredient alternative.  The same for the eggs that are called for…we carry an Egg Replacer from Orgran you could try as well.  Gluten and Casein Free Cornbread

These were wonderful and had good texture with a mild corn taste. If you wanted to add some “fire” ( I am from Texas you know!) you could try one of their own variations for Jalapeno Cheddar Corn Bread on the package directions too. This mix was quick, easy and goes really well with stews and chilis…which seems like it should be on the menu for you guys in the northeast….BBBBRRRRRR! Enjoy.